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Lazio ‘entering talks’ with Chelsea for Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson — report

Rumors of the non-Lukaku kind

Chelsea FC v Brighton & Hove Albion - Premier League Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Lazio sporting director Igli Tare is supposedly in town to conduct some transfer talks to finish out the week, and according to Corriere dello Sport (via Football Talk), those targets include both Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Emerson Palmieri.

Neither is a new name in that regard, and neither is the suggestion new that they could end up with Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio for at least next season. (Yes, of course there is a suggestion of a loan or two.) Both players probably enjoyed their best times in a Chelsea first-team shirt during Sarri’s one season at Stamford Bridge in 2018-19.

Loftus-Cheek, 26, managed to carve out a surprising large role last season as a versatile backup and squad rotation option, and while he could certainly be useful in that role going forward, he might want something different. Meanwhile, Emerson, 27, found success on loan at Olympique Lyonnais, but that’s now over and a decision has to be made about his career once again. He could conceivably stay as a backup to Ben Chilwell, but that sort of prospective role is precisely why he left in the first place. Even if Marcos Alonso doesn’t stay, Emerson might not want to be a backup, especially with the World Cup looming later in the year.

Both players have two years left on their Chelsea contracts, which could leave room for a loan deal if nothing else.