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Chelsea star Ruben Loftus-Cheek emerges as key part in Man Utd midfield transfer chase

By Kieran King

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has been linked with a move away from the club this summer - and could play a significant role in Manchester United's transfer plans.

The 26-year-old has been in and out of the Chelsea team this season, making 37 appearances across all competitions. However, he has started just 13 games in the Premier League. Now, according to Corriere dello Sport, Lazio are reportedly interested in a move for Loftus-Cheek, adding that they know boss Maurizio Sarri 'would like' to sign him.

With the Blues' future uncertain following the proposed takeover of the club, Chelsea could be prepared to sell some of their assets in order to rebuild after a difficult few months. Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christiansen and Cesar Azpilicueta are all out of contract, while a number of other stars may decide to leave.

Loftus-Cheek could be the next to leave the Blues as Lazio try and replace the outgoing Sergej Milinković-Savić, who is set to depart the club at the end of the season. Manchester United are thought to be leading the race to sign the Serbian international as they look to bolster their midfield.

Erik ten Hag is set to make a central midfield his priority position this summer as he begins to rebuild his squad when he arrives from Ajax. Frenkie de Jong has been linked with a move to the Red Devils, while Youri Tielemans and Ruben Neves have been mentioned as possible targets.

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. (Getty Images)

Should Ruben Loftus-Cheek leave Chelsea this summer? Let us know in the comments below!

But Milinković-Savić could be on his way out of Lazio despite president Claudio Lotito claiming he is not for sale. The 27-year-old has impressed for his side this term and has played 292 games for the Italian giants since joining the club in the summer of 2015, winning their Player of the Season award last year, but Lazio have failed to qualify for the Champions League next season.

If he does leave, Loftus-Cheek could make his way to Rome. When asked about the midfielder's future back in January, Tuchel admitted he still has a future at the club despite being linked with a loan switch.

He said: "We haven’t talked about it (loaning Loftus-Cheek out). He has a lot of game time, he has a lot to fight for here if we talk about Ruben and my personal opinion. Anyway, this will happen behind closed doors. When we have something to announce, we will announce."

The issue for Lazio is 'costs have to be considered when dealing with players like this' as Loftus-Cheek currently has a wage of around £3million a year. This means a loan switch would be more feasible.

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