Aston Villa look to win Ruben Loftus-Cheek race after prioritising late loan

Aston Villa are reportedly pushing to sign Ruben Loftus-Cheek on loan from Chelsea though Dean Smith’s side face competition.

Loftus-Cheek has fallen down Frank Lampard’s pecking order at Stamford Bridge with there being plenty of other options.

Villa boss Dean Smith wants to strengthen his own midfield options before next Monday’s transfer deadline though has already spent £85m this summer.

The Daily Mail claim Aston Villa are only interested in loan deals and are pushing to sign Loftus-Cheek.

Fellow Chelsea star Ross Barkley is also believed to be of interest though league regulations stipulate that only one loan can take place between the same two Premier League clubs.

Loftus-Cheek was left out of the Chelsea squad that produced a comeback to draw at West Brom this weekend with Villa now prioritising a move for the 24-year-old.

Villa boss Smith confirmed he is looking for a new star in the middle of the park as he said: “Midfield is an area we’re looking at where we feel we lack numbers.

“There are many players who are speculated upon all the time and we are looking to add more to the squad.

  • Dean Smith faces major questions if Aston Villa start slowly after transfer activity

“We don’t want too many more because we don’t want to be stockpiling players but we want to add some quality where we can.

“We’ve got John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Marvelous Nakamba, Conor Hourihane and Jack (Grealish) who can also play there but we feel he’s a bit more productive playing off the left, so we’re a little bit light in there. It’s certainly an area we’re looking at.”

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While Lampard is open to letting players leave Chelsea, saying: "There are lots of rumours, so every player would always be a case-by-case situation and one that would be a happy solution for the player, for myself and the club [would happen].

"We have a big squad we know that, but at the moment the players remain ours and we'll see how things go as the time goes on."

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