Transfer gossip: Villa linked with Chelsea duo

Some of the latest transfer speculation involving Chelsea…

Aston Villa are interested in Chelsea midfielders Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, according to the Daily Mail.

Both players face stiff competition for places at Stamford Bridge.

Barkley has been linked with several clubs during the last year or so and there is now speculation over Loftus-Cheek’s future after he was overlooked by boss Frank Lampard for recent matches.

The Mail say Villa are interested in taking either player on loan – they would only be able to take one as Premier League rules prevent them from having more than one player on loan from another top-flight club.

The Daily Telegraph run a similar story, reporting that Villa boss Dean Smith is considering a loan move for Barkley.

Chelsea: Ross Barkley and Ruben Lofttus-Cheek
Barkley and Loftus-Cheek could struggle for game time

The Telegraph also reports that Antonio Rudiger is set to leave Chelsea after being axed by Lampard.

And the Mail say Paris St-Germain are ready to make a move for Rudiger, who has two years left on his Blues contract.

Chelsea exits on the cards?

Lampard played down the significance of Rudiger and Loftus-Cheek being left out of the squad for Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win against Barnsley. 

However, he suggested that there are likely to be departures from the Bridge before the transfer window closes.

Centre-back Rudiger has been left out for recent games and the arrival of Thiago Silva, who made his debut, has nudged the German further down the pecking order.

And Loftus-Cheek has not featured since failing to impress in a recent outing against Brighton.

Lampard said: “They’re not in the squad – that’s just a choice at the moment. With the centre-halves, I can’t have them all in the squad at the moment.

“I keep getting questions about the size of the squad. Yes, there might be movement (out). We know that.

“But nothing is concrete, so don’t read too much into those selections at the minute.

“It (any departures) will have to be things that are right for the club, individuals and me.”