Chelsea transfer news: Eden Hazard, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Aaron Ramsey
Blues to offer £300,000-a-week deal as star forward issues European ultimatum
Hazard issues ultimatum
Eden Hazard’s future at Chelsea is dependent on the club qualifying for the Champions League next season, reports The Times. The paper claims that the Belgian midfielder, who has been consistently linked to a move to Real Madrid in recent weeks, will remain at Stamford Bridge this season but will depart if they finish outside the top four of the Premier League.
The Times reports that Hazard “has not been offered an improved contract since he rejected an extension beyond 2020”, although there have been claims that the club are ready to increase Hazard’s weekly wage from about £220,000 to £300,000.
Hazard, who likes living in London, believes a player of his stature should be playing in the Champions League but Chelsea’s failure to qualify for Europe’s showpiece tournament in two of the last four seasons have left him frustrated.
The Times claims that Chelsea are aware of Hazard’s discontent, hence the reason they strengthened the squad over the summer by signing Jorginho and Kepa Arrizabalaga for a combined £122m. That has placated the Belgian for the time being and the club is quietly confident that with Manchester United and Arsenal a shadow of their former selves they should be in the top four come May.
Loftus-Cheek loan move?
Ruben Loftus-Cheek may “look to force a move away from Chelsea and head to Spain”, says the Daily Express. Despite impressing for England in the summer World Cup, the 22-year-old struggles to hold down a place in the Chelsea starting line-up and his frustration is reportedly growing.
New gaffer Maurizio Sarri has given him just 22 minutes of game time in the Blues’ first two league outings and the signs are he will continue to be used as a sub.
Last season Lofts-Cheek enjoyed a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace and the Express says that the England ace wants a similar move to be organised between now and the end of the month. Apparently “a handful of Spanish clubs are interested” and Loftus-Cheek is optimistic that a deal will be agreed before the European transfer window closes on August 31.
The Daily Telegraph confirms the story, adding that French and German clubs are also monitoring Loftus-Cheek’s situation at the Bridge. However, the paper says that while Sarri currently prefers Ross Barkley and Mateo Kovacic to the youngster, he wants “Loftus-Cheek to fight for his place at least until January, when the transfer window reopens and his future can be reassessed”.
Ramsey on the radar
The Blues are said to be interested in Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, whose future as a Gunner is “in doubt after he was dropped by Unai Emery for the defeat by Chelsea”.
According to the Daily Mail: “There is growing uncertainty over the role Ramsey will play for Emery during the Spaniard's first season in charge at the Emirates Stadium… [and] his deal expires at the end of the season, at which point he could leave as a free agent.”
Chelsea and Manchester United are the two clubs most interested in signing him, reports the paper.