Chelsea have reportedly ruled out letting midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek go to Crystal Palace once his loan with the Eagles ends.
Loftus-Cheek, who moved to Palace in a season-long stint from the West Londoners, had played just 14 starts for Chelsea before the temporary agreement.
As reported by the Evening Standard, however, the 21-year-old stays an essential consideration in Antonio Conte’s tactics at Stamford Bridge from next season.
Chelsea earlier signed fellow midfielder Ross Barkley from Everton, and despite Conte already owning the likes of N’Golo Kante, Cesc Fabregas and Danny Drinkwater in midfield, the story says that the Italian has plans to include Loftus-Cheek in his team.
The Englishman, who has impressed while at Selhurst Park, was given two senior Three Lions caps by head coach Gareth Southgate in November internationals against Germany and Brazil.
Meanwhile, Lucas Moura seems set to join Chinese Super League team Beijing Guoan in January – and end any talks linking the forward with a transfer to Chelsea.
The Paris Saint-Germain outcast has allegedly agreed on terms to move to Guoan this winter, as reported by the Goal, and his choice to do so will shut down the reigning Premier League champions’ wishes of luring him to Stamford Bridge.