Chelsea’s signing of Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic may not be as certain as first thought, with the news that Fiorentina want Blues wonderkid Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The midfielder had been set to move to Stoke as part of the deal to take the Bosnia and Herzegovina stopper to Stamford Bridge according to the Express.
However, the 19-year-old is now wanted by Fiorentina, with the Tuscany club eyeing the youngster as compensation for the recent farcical situation concerning Mohamed Salah.
The Egypt forward spent the second half of last season on loan with the Viola, impressing in Serie A with six goals and three assists in 16 outings after moving in the winter window.
The former Basel man had looked set to return to the Stadio Artemio Franchi on another loan this season, but despite Fiorentina having already paid the fee required to extend the deal, the player has refused to move, possibly preferring a move to Inter Milan [ESPN].
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According to the Gazzetta dello Sport [via the Express], Fiorentina would abandon the legal action they are reportedly considering if Chelsea agree to loan them Loftus-Cheek for the duration of the coming campaign.
It remains to be seen whether Jose Mourinho will agree to Fiorentina’s request, or whether they will agree to send the teenager to Stoke in order to secure the future of 28-year-old Begovic.
Loftus-Cheek managed three appearances for the Pensioners in the league last term, including two starts.
While Begovic would likely head to Stamford Bridge as a replacement for the departed Petr Cech and as an understudy to Thibaut Courtois, current Stoke boss Mark Hughes has insisted that the Bosnian would be challenging for the No. 1 spot [International Business Times].