The Blues have an offer in from their local rival, after clubs have struggled to meet the midfielder’s wages in this summer transfer window
Fulham have made a season-long loan offer for Ruben Loftus-Cheek after Chelsea made him available in the last few weeks with the transfer window soon closing.
Loftus-Cheek is understood to be open to a move to Craven Cottage, but Chelsea have to be satisfied with the wage contribution of their local rivals and that he will develop with the Premier League strugglers.
The Cottagers have made the approach and they are aiming to sign a striker and a centre back alongside him in the final hours of the market.
The England international has had interest from a host of clubs, but he saw Aston Villa opt instead to sign Ross Barkley, who scored on his debut in the 7-2 win over Liverpool.
Southampton and West Ham have struggled to meet his wages of £150,000-a-week, as the Blues aim to pay the smallest possible portion of the 24-year-old’s contract.
They will likely have to subsidise Fulham, who were promoted from the Championship last season and have none of their first-team squad on such lucrative terms.
Frank Lampard would be open to keeping Loftus-Cheek after seeing Barkley leave on loan, but has acknowledged that he may struggle for minutes in west London after a big summer of spending.
“We’ll see with that one,” Lampard said on Friday last week. “With Ross and Ruben, they are both in similar situations. I spoke with Ruben last week and there is an angle of this where he needs to play regular football and with Ross, it was a similar angle, even though he has played more and hasn’t had Ruben’s injury.
“We were all happy, and Ross particularly, to go and a play at a very good club in Aston Villa with Dean and John Terry, and what they’ve got going now. With Ruben now, I will analyse it within the squad and what feels best.
“Ruben can really contribute here, but if it feels like him going as well, then that’s something I’ll consider over the next few days.”
The signings of Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner have led to Loftus-Cheek’s squad status dropping in what has been a successful window for Chelsea, with £220 million ($275m) spent on six major transfers.
Furthermore, the Blues have seen a deal with Juventus collapse for Emerson Palmieri after the costs were deemed too high for the Italian champions despite them attempting a loan move with an option to buy.
Marcos Alonso could leave, but Emerson is seen as an easier sale to accomplish for the west Londoners due to his lower wage demands.
Tiemoue Bakayoko is also on the verge of a loan move – to Napoli – which will see Chelsea earn £4.5m ($6m) despite a lack of an option or obligation to buy at the end of that deal.