Ruben Loftus-Cheek may have some big decisions to make at Chelsea this summer, with Roy Hodgson expecting Crystal Palace’s loan star to be “hot property”.
Having struggled for game time at Stamford Bridge since joining the senior fold, the 22-year-old midfielder crossed London to link up with Palace last summer.
A season-long agreement has been split by an unfortunate injury, but the classy playmaker has impressed when fully fit.
Palace are hoping that there will be a permanent deal to be done for the England international in the next transfer window, but they are also aware that several other suitors are likely to join the hunt for a man facing an uncertain future at his parent club.
Palace boss Hodgson told reporters after seeing Loftus-Cheek star in a 3-2 derby victory over Brighton: “For Ruben Loftus-Cheek to consider us seriously as an option, we need to be in the league for the kick off. Let’s keep our priorities right and work hard to stay in this league.
“Then I’m pretty sure we would be saying to Ruben, is it worth having the conversation with Chelsea, could you consider? Then of course the conversation with Chelsea will come around and we will see from there.
“There’s no doubt he is going to be hot property if he has four more games like the last couple.
“If people remember that very good spell he had when we were actually doing quite well, I imagine that he will be hot property. Not just for Crystal Palace but for other teams too.”
Loftus-Cheek’s form this season, which saw him handed a senior international debut in November, is likely to have pushed his price tag up, but Hodgson is reluctant to speculate on what it might cost to land the youngster on a full-time deal.
He added: “I don’t concern myself with that quite frankly.
“I concern myself with one thing and one thing alone. We have four matches, four weeks and I want to be standing here at the end of the season with Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
“I will concern myself with the values of players who have moved beyond what we can do [afford] when the time comes.”
Loftus-Cheek has made 21 appearances across all competitions for Palace this season, recording one goal and two assists.