The Daily Mail are running an absolutely hilarious story today, talking up Barcelona's interest in both Fernando Torres and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. While I've made my views on the Torres thing well known by this point, I can't help but laugh a bit at the idea of Ruben Loftus-Cheek heading to heading to Barca. Here's what the Mail had to say about Rube:
Barcelona are back on the trail of young Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The 17-year-old impressed the Spanish club's scouts with his performance during the recent friendly with Manchester City in New York.
Chelsea placed the England youth international on a lucrative contract following interest from Barca and rivals City earlier this year but that has not deterred the Spaniards who are keen to strengthen their own youth ranks after losing players to English clubs in recent seasons.
Ruben is one of the best midfield prospects in Europe, so it makes sense that he'd be on the radar of everyone. There's a problem with this one though, and it comes from the contract Loftus-Cheek signed with the Blues earlier this season.
First, he's under contract with Chelsea, and he's being paid very, very well. It's going to take a hell of an offer to tempt Loftus-Cheek away from the club he's spent his whole life at right now, and I'd be pretty shocked if Barca were given permission to talk to him anyway.
Forget that though, as there's a bigger hurdle for Barca to overcome. Ruben Loftus-Cheek turned 17 in January of 2013, meaning he'll be 17-years old for the remainder of the transfer window. That means Barcelona can't actually offer him a professional contract this transfer window, even if Chelsea decided to give them permission to talk to the lad.
I'm sure Barcelona are impressed with Loftus-Cheek, as everyone that's seen him play is certain to be as well. They can't sign him now though, because Spanish law doesn't allow it. Sorry Daily Mail, but this rumor is worth about as much as the Romelu Lukaku loan rumors after he made his Chelsea debut in 2011. It won't happen because it can't, unless Rube wants to dump his lucrative contract to play for free, and Chelsea ridiculously decide to allow him to do so. Since neither of those will ever happen, we can safely call this one a buffalo chip.