Frank Lampard has confirmed that Chelsea are considering loan offers for Ruben Loftus-Cheek, with West Ham and Aston Villa having been confirmed as two parties interested in him.
The England international has been left out of the last three matchday squads, including Chelsea's Carabao Cup clash with Barnsley, and it has led the midfielder to explore his options.
Chelsea are ready to allow a temporary move away for the 24-year-old but they also feel that it will help him return to his best form after his Achilles tendon rupture in May 2019.
"I’m very open with Ruben," Lampard told reporters. "We’ve had a couple of conversations in the last week. He’s fit as a fiddle so he can play week in, week out. He needs to play. He’s done a lot of work now.
"He would have been playing earlier if it wasn’t for lockdown and restart. There’s a possibility that Ruben may go out [on loan] to play games because I think that would be great for him. We hold him in very high regard here. I certainly do and that could be a good option for him.
"I’m relaxed about it but I want to find the best path for Ruben and I want to find the best path for us."
Lampard went onto explain that he sees Loftus-Cheek's long-term future with Chelsea, adding: "Without a doubt. He’s had a difficult time. The injury was a bad one. He hasn’t played as many minutes for this club as he would have liked to for different reasons.
"But just before his injury he was playing really well and contributing. I was always looking forward to him getting back fit and working with him. We’ll make that decision on what’s best for him and us.
"He wants to play and the reality is I have a lot of competition in those areas when I look at the squad. Ruben is versatile. He can play different roles in the midfield and sometimes off the side, so I was really looking forward to working with him because I know what he can do.
"He gives us something slightly different in terms of his physicality and how he receives the ball. But there is also a priority for everyone that Ruben plays games. That’s the delicate balance of what we’re trying to get right in the next week. We’ll do what feels right."
Meanwhile, Chelsea are also exploring moves away for the likes of Antonio Rudiger and Emerson Palmieri, with the transfer window set to close in a week.
PSG, Barcelona and Roma have expressed an interest in the Germany international and Inter are the only club after Emerson at the moment. Alongside that, Chelsea are trying to sell or loan a host of other non-first-team stars such as Tiemoue Bakayoko, Victor Moses and Danny Drinkwater.
Lampard admitted that Chelsea have too many players in their current group, having seen his club spend £220 million ($275m) on six players this summer but having struggled to offload those in their current squad..
“If it’s right for the player and right for us then that can be possible," he added. "At the moment the squad is very big, it would have to be the right situation for us. It is slightly uncertain times with what is going on at the moment.
"But there is a possibility that a few could move on if it’s right.”