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Focus Shifts As Conte Keeps Loftus-Cheek At Stanford Bridge

Newcastle must move on to other options in order to shore up the midfield with Ruben Loftus-Cheek set to stay at Chelsea.

Chelsea v Peterborough United - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
Loftus-Cheek was the target of several teams for a loan deal before Conte pulled the plug.
Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Antonio Conte announced earlier this week that he will not be letting Ruben Loftus-Cheek leave Chelsea in January on a loan deal. Newcastle was just one of many clubs interested in landing the winger, but Benitez is now forced to look elsewhere to add a major piece in the push for promotion.

Many hoped that the success of Christian Atsu’s loan at Newcastle would be enough to persuade Conte to send Loftus-Cheek the Magpies way. In the end, Conte deemed the 20-year old too valuable.

Newcastle has been linked with plenty of other wingers, including Norwich’s Robbie Brady and Fulham’s Tom Cairney. Others have included Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and Derby winger Tom Ince. With none of these deals appearing to be even close though, it seems like the Magpies might be waiting until late on in the transfer window to start making additions to the squad.

Ince would be an interesting add as an ‎£8 million rated winger. At 24, Ince was a regular for many of the English youth teams, appearing 26 times at the youth international level. Derby are in the midst of a promotion push and manager Steve McClaren has said he won’t be letting Ince leave. Whether that includes for his former club remains to be seen.

Benitez has made it clear that he intends to bring in some help along the midfield and at striker. He is also known for being patient in the transfer window. The Spaniard will make the best move for the club, whether it be a loan or a transfer, as he bolster’s his side for promotion and a future run in the Premier League.