Ruben Loftus-Cheek has emerged as a shock loan target for Ligue 1 outfit Monaco this summer after being told he must wait his turn for first-team minutes, according to reports.
The 22-year-old, who starred at this summer's World Cup as part of Gareth Southgate's England squad, has been left frustrated with a lack of game time at Stamford Bridge following a strong campaign on loan at Crystal Palace last time out.
The imposing creator had hoped on his return from an eye-catching tournament that more chances of action would come his way, particularly under new boss Maurizio Sarri.
However, with that looking increasingly unlikely, Loftus-Cheek may be forced to look elsewhere for minutes, and according to The Sun, Monaco have emerged as a shock interested party to fulfil the player's desire.
The Ligue 1 club are on the hunt of recapturing the French title once again, after Paris Saint-Germain reclaimed their crown last season, as well as fighting at the business end of this term's Champions League.
Great to see Chelsea developing a Real Madrid player (kovacic) for them rather than giving English players a go in Loftus-cheek and Barkley...— Christian Wainwright (@Christian_Wain) August 26, 2018
Squad depth will prove vital for such a challenge, and alongside new £27m signing Aleksandr Golovin, Les Monegasques are on the hunt for some added steel in midfield.
However, Chelsea boss Sarri believes, despite the speculation, that he will still have Loftus-Cheek available for selection at the end of this month, and will be able to offer more opportunities once fixtures in the Champions League and Carabao Cup come around.
"I have spoken with him twice this week, after speaking with the club. I think Loftus will remain with us," the Italian said.
We need to stop comparing young players coming through to past and current players:— Hazardous (@chelseasbest11) August 22, 2018
Mason Mount = Frank Lampard
Christensen = John Terry
Loftus-Cheek = Ballack
Hudson-Odoi = Hazard
Let them make their own name and path to the top! Comparisons only harm them#CFC #ChelseaFc
"We can speak again about his situation but only in December. It’s not so easy in this period because we play only once a week.
“But I told the team that, this month, they have to be patient. Starting from September, we play three games a week, so there will be space for everybody.”