Chelsea News

‘A bit of a surprise’ – Journalist delivers verdict on 150k-a-week star as Chelsea explore big swap deal

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If Chelsea are willing to allow Ruben Loftus-Cheek to leave the club as part of a swap deal for Milan Skriniar, then that ‘might come as a bit of a surprise’, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke, writes the GMS.

The Blues have been linked with a move for the Inter centre-back, and it’s been rumoured that midfielder Loftus-Cheek could move in the opposite direction.

A recent report from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Chelsea have made Skriniar a top target this summer.

Central defenders Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are set to leave Stamford Bridge when their contract expire at the end of the month and replacing them will surely be at the top of Thomas Tuchel’s to-do list.

It’s claimed that Inter are open to selling Skriniar, who is also attracting interest from Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain, in order to raise funds for Romelu Lukaku.

And the Nerazzurri are believed to be looking for around £60-68million for the Slovakia international, although are open to reducing their asking price to just £50m.

Gazzetta dello Sport name Loftus-Cheek as a player Chelsea would be willing to offer as a makeweight in any potential deal for Skriniar.

O’Rourke believes ‘offering players in exchange’ is a method that could prove successful in the race for Skriniar’s signature, although is shocked that Chelsea would be open to sanctioning Loftus-Cheek’s exit.

He told GiveMeSport: “If Inter aren’t willing to sell, maybe offering players in exchange could work.

“There’s talk of Loftus-Cheek being mentioned, but I thought Loftus-Cheek did quite well when he was used, so that might come as a bit of a surprise if they are willing to let him move on.”

Skriniar has formed a formidable partnership alongside Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij in recent years, claiming the Serie A title in 2020/21 before securing the Italian Cup last season.

And the 27-year-old has also established himself as one of the most proficient centre-backs when in possession of the ball in recent years.

As per FBref, Skriniar has ranked in the 96th percentile for progressive passes received and pass completion while also ranking in the 90th for shot-creating actions amongst his positional peers over the last 12 months.

Losing Loftus-Cheek, who earns £150,000-per-week, would be a blow for Chelsea, yet the addition of Skriniar could make it a worthwhile sacrifice for Tuchel’s charges.

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