Jose Mourinho is keen on reuniting with Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek at Roma.
The 25-year-old has managed to break back into Thomas Tuchel’s rotation after spending last season on loan at Fulham, with 15 appearances under his belt already this campaign.
However, he remains way down the Stamford Bridge pecking order, and Il Romanista report that Mourinho could offer him a route out of west London.
The Portuguese gave Loftus-Cheek his senior debut back in December 2014 during their Premier League title-winning season, though played most of that campaign contributing to Chelsea’s UEFA Youth League success.
Another player who was part of that triumph was Tammy Abraham, who made the move from Chelsea to Roma in the summer and is thriving in Serie A – the striker has scored 10 goals in 23 games for the Giallorossi in all competitions.
Mourinho is hoping that an endorsement from Abraham will help convince Loftus-Cheek that a move to Italy is right for him, though Roma are keeping tabs on a number of other midfielders as well.
Saul – whose loan spell at Chelsea this season has been disastrous – is another target on Mourinho’s shortlist, as is Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz, Hoffenheim’s Florian Grillitsch, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso.
Roma believe they will be priced out of moves for these options and that’s why their attentions are focused on Loftus-Cheek.
They would prefer to take him on an initial loan with an option to buy and would be willing to cover Loftus-Cheek’s £170,000-a-week wages.
Mourinho’s first year at Roma has not gone smoothly so far. They were humiliated by Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League, succumbing to a 6-1 loss in Norway, and currently sit sixth in Serie A, eight points off the top four.