Pochettino will need to ‘force out’ Chelsea academy graduate as Blues plan £53m Liverpool hijack

Mauricio Pochettino will need to ‘force out’ Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who’s digging his heels in at Stamford Bridge, as they plan to hijack Liverpool’s move for a £53m midfielder.

Pochettino is expected to be announced as the new Chelsea boss in the summer, and his first priority will be reducing the size of a bulging Blues squad before making further moves to strengthen it.

It’s claimed as many as twelve players could be up for sale this summer, including six homegrown stars representing pure profit as the club look to stay within the bounds of financial fair play rules.

One of the players Chelsea definitely want to be rid of is Loftus-Cheek, who’s been a bit-part player throughout his time as a Chelsea player having come through the academy, while also spending time with Crystal Palace and Fulham on loan.

AC Milan hope to convince the 27-year-old to join fellow Chelsea academy graduate Fikayo Tomori at the San Siro, but the midfielder’s £150,000-a-week wages represent a stumbling block.

What’s more, Evening Standard claim Loftus-Cheek ‘remains reluctant to leave his boyhood club and, despite having only one year left on his contract, would need to be forced out by the incoming manager at Stamford Bridge’.

The England international rejected a move away in January having been made available very late on in the transfer window.

Chelsea hope to see Loftus-Cheek leave, along with many of his teammates, to make room for new additions for Pochettino.

And while ‘talks’ are ongoing with Southampton’s Romeo Lavia over a move to Stamford Bridge, the Blues are also making strides in their bid to sign Manuel Ugarte from Sporting Lisbon.

Liverpool have been in ‘direct contact for the last two weeks’ with Ugarte, who moved to the Portuguese side for £6m in the summer of 2021, though it’s added by Football Transfers that the Reds have other players nearer the top of their wishlist.

O Jojo claim Ugarte’s transfer is ‘practically inevitable’ but any interested party will have to meet his £53m release clause.

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