Aston Villa and Crystal Palace look to attacking midfielder

TEAMtalk can reveal Aston Villa and Crystal Palace are leading the pursuit of Ruben Loftus-Cheek with the England midfielder set to leave Chelsea this summer.

The 25-year-old is currently on loan at Fulham and they would like to keep him but their chances will depend on whether they stay in the Premier League which seems unlikely at this point. Loftus-Cheek has done well and he hopes to have another chance at Chelsea where he has three years left on his contract.

Loftus-Cheek made 26 Premier League appearances for the Cottagers, mostly in an attacking midfielder role, scoring once. He couldn’t get them away from the relegation zone but his performances were noted.

However, TEAMtalk understands that Loftus-Cheek is not part of Chelsea’s long-term plans. And the Blues have already told interested parties that they would be open to a sale.

Palace are longtime Loftus-Cheek admirers and they have told Chelsea they would be interested, just as Aston Villa is enthusiastic.

Chelsea legend John Terry is Villa number two and is a huge fan. And although they fire Ross Barkley this summer, they could still make a deal for a Chelsea midfielder.

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No Villa offer for Barkley

Earlier this week, TEAMtalk revealed that Villa had told Chelsea they were not looking to sign Barkley permanently.

Barkley, 27, joined Villa this summer and was at the time determined to prove Chelsea boss Frank Lampard was wrong to loan him out.

Barkley started his time at Villa Park in brilliant style and has grown into one of the league’s players. He bonded very well with his fellow England international Jack Grealish.

Lampard even admitted he was watching him closely and would give him another chance at Stamford Bridge if the opportunity presented itself. However, things have turned sour since the start of the year and have gone off the rails.

Lampard was sent off at Chelsea and Barkley’s form is gone. And sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that Villa is less than happy with some of Barkley’s off-screen antics.

Instead, Barkley could head to West Ham. Hammers David Moyes has added Barkley to his list of summer targets.

READ MORE: Expert calls Aston Villa midfielder ‘disappointment’ after promising start

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