Aston Villa ‘leading chase’ to sign Chelsea midfielder

Aston Villa have been linked with a summer swoop for Chelsea and England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Loftus-Cheek is currently on loan at Fulham, where he has made 26 Premier League appearances so far this season.

Fulham are facing relegation back to the Championship, however, which would likely put paid to any hopes of retaining the services of the 25-year-old.

According to TEAMtalk, Villa and Crystal Palace are “leading the chase” to sign Loftus-Cheek in this summer’s transfer window.

He has three years remaining on his current contract at Stamford Bridge, though Chelsea have apparently “already told interested parties that they would be open to a sale”.

Palace are reported to be “long-term admirers” of the player, while Villa assistant head coach – and Chelsea legend – John Terry is said to be a “huge fan”.

Speaking recently, Fulham boss Scott Parker said of Loftus-Cheek: “Ruben is a player for me that’s grown.

“He had a lot to prove. He had a lot on his shoulders. It was slow for him, but I’ve been very pleased with him and what he gives to the team.

“There’s still a lot to come, but I’m not going to sit here and say Ruben’s the finished article.

“At times we want more. Ruben wants more. Someone who’s dedicated to improve himself is a good marker for me.

“People judge radically if someone has half a bad game or a dip, and in this world you can lose sight of the good things and what they can do.”

Villa currently have another Chelsea midfielder, Ross Barkley, on a season-long loan, though a permanent move for him is looking unlikely.

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