Antonio Conte is unwilling to sell fringe midfielder in the view to partner him alongside Ross Barkley

Chelsea have no interest in selling Ruben Loftus-Cheek in the summer and still regard him as a part of their long-term plans. At present, the Blues have 33 players plying their trade at other clubs. However, the most successful of them all is Loftus-Cheek.

The 21-year-old moved to Crystal Palace this term on loan, in order to get more first-team football having made just 14 starts for the Blues in his career. And the move has worked wonders for Loftus-Cheek as he has hit the ground running at Selhurst Park, earning himself a call-up to the national side already this season.

It was believed that the England international dropped even further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge after they signed Ross Barkley from Everton for £15million on Friday. While Palace manager Roy Hodgson said last week he’d be interested in signing the 21-year-old midfielder on a permanent basis, Chelsea have no interest in selling.

Speaking last week, Eagles manager Hodgson said: “The way Ruben’s been playing for us, he’s a player we’d like to have at our club, there’s no doubt about that.”

According to the Daily Mail, Loftus-Cheek has been told Barkley’s arrival at the club does not affect his future. Despite Antonio Conte already possessing the likes of N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas, Danny Drinkwater and Tiemoue Bakayoko, the report says that the Italian has plans to include Loftus-Cheek in his squad.

Regardless of Loftus-Cheek enjoying his time at Selhurst Park and Hodgson admitting that he hoped to capitalise on the situation by trying to secure a permanent move for the midfielder, the Premier League champions regard the England international as a genuine prospect for their first-team and he will return to the club after his loan at Palace expires.

This message would give Loftus-Cheek a huge sigh of relief, after the 21-year-old gave an interview in November, saying Chelsea ‘definitely’ held his career back by failing to give him a chance in the first-team.

“I think in the last two or three years I’ve had to be patient. It was tough, mentally, at Chelsea not getting the game time, but I had to be really patient and have the mentality to still train right and do all the right things,” he told the Croydon Advertiser (h/t Daily Mail).

The bottom line is that the Blues believe Barkley and Loftus-Cheek can play together in the same side even though they are similar players.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login