Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek will ask for a loan move away before the end of the month if he isn't given the playing time he wants under Maurizio Sarri.
After spending last season on loan at Crystal Palace and forcing himself into the England squad for the World Cup, he is reportedly seen as having a part to play at Stamford Bridge in the forthcoming campaign, but it remains to be seen if the club and the player are in agreement over what that role will be.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek returns to pre season training today one week earlier than expected. He ended his holiday time early. Now that’s the commitment needed! Time now for an improved contract and for Sarri to integrate this great talent into the Chelsea first team. #OneOfOurOwn 🙌 pic.twitter.com/7uBfbzJqTT— Chris Wright 🏴 (@chriswrightzz) July 30, 2018
And if not, the Times report that he is likely to ask for a loan move away before the end of the month, and reportedly has offers on the table from the Premier League, the Championship, and the continent.
Realistically, any move that does transpire is likely to be to a European club. The Premier League transfer window closes on Thursday 9 August, a day before the Premier League season starts, and three weeks before it closes in the rest of Europe.
And while the Championship remains an option, it is highly unlikely the player or club would be happy with dropping down a level off the back of a successful Premier League season and three World Cup appearances.
As far as potential first team appearances at Chelsea go, it would require a huge showing of faith from Sarri in the 22-year-old in order for him to become a regular starter.
In Sarri's preferred 4-3-3 formation, N'Golo Kante and new signing Jorginho are expected to be immovable from the starting XI.
That leaves Loftus-Cheek to fight it out with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Danny Drinkwater for the remaining midfield role.
In effect, this means that his short-term future at Chelsea depends on whether or not he would be satisfied largely with appearances from the bench.
If not, expect him to be showing up at a European club near you before the transfer window closes on 1 September.