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Fulham, Monaco, Rostov, others interested in Chelsea striker Ike Ugbo — reports

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All of the lights

SOCCER JPL D33 CERCLE BRUGGE VS OHL Photo by KURT DESPLENTER/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Chelsea Academy striker Ike Ugbo has made a huge positive impact at his current loan club, Cercle Brugge since his arrival at the start of the season. His last three goals, one against Beerschot and two versus OH Leuven last week, have helped to keep the team one position and four points above the relegation playoff spot in the Belgian top division, thus making their last match of the season coming up this weekend a mere formality.

With the team’s future secured, attention have turned to the future of Ugbo himself. With 15 goals to his name, sixth most in the league (and one more in the Cup), the 22-year-old has piqued the interest of several clubs around Europe, including the likes of Fulham, AS Monaco, Sampdoria, Bologna, Eintracht Frankfurt, and Russian Premier League side Rostov.

One could presume AS Monaco, as owners of Cercle Brugge, would be best positioned to secure Ugbo’s talents, with or without utilizing the £5m buy-option included in his loan contract. Meanwhile, Rostov had been linked before, supposedly launching a £3m bid back in January, which Chelsea felt was too low. Ugbo does have one more year left on his Chelsea contract, so another loan could be a possibility as well, with Fulham becoming a frequent destination in recent seasons for us.

Ugbo’s loan career didn’t get off to a great start, with less than stellar stints at Barnsley, MK Dons, and Scunthorpe United, but he scored in double digits for Roda JC last season in the Dutch second division and now he’s bettered that this season in a top flight. In previous times we could argue in favour of giving more time to Ugbo to develop his skills on loan, and then return to the club. But given that Chelsea already have more strikers than we need, it’d probably be for the best for all involved to see him try his luck elsewhere.