Ruben Loftus-Cheek has no plans to leave Chelsea
Ruben Loftus-Cheek refused to deny he is in talks over a new Chelsea contract.
The 23-year-old has scored nine goals this term and is confident he can put a long-term back problem behind him to reach his full potential.
Loftus-Cheek has two years to run on his Chelsea deal, but the Blues are keen to tie the midfielder down to longer terms at Stamford Bridge.
When asked if he is already in talks over a new deal, Loftus-Cheek grinned and said: “I’m not sure, I let my agent deal with it. I’m not thinking about that right now.
“It’s important for me to focus on the here and now, and I’m playing right now.
“It’s looking good so there’s no reason why I should think about leaving Chelsea.”
And when told he deserves a pay rise, Loftus-Cheek laughed and added: “There’s no reason for me to leave. If I get a pay rise, that’ll be great.”
Loftus-Cheek will take a pivotal role in Chelsea’s Europa League semi-final second leg against Eintracht Frankfurt at Stamford Bridge on Thursday.
N’Golo Kante will miss out due to a hamstring issue that leaves the France World Cup-winner in a race against time to be fit for the Europa League final should Chelsea reach the May 29 showpiece.
Loftus-Cheek has battled injury problems of his own and Blues manager Maurizio Sarri has previously admitted fearing the midfielder could battle niggling back problems for the rest of his career.
But the England international is confident he can overcome his long-term back spasms.
“I’ve had back injuries, lower back spasms, since I was 16 or 17 up to now,” said Loftus-Cheek.
“It’s something I’ve had in the latter part of my career, and it’s something I’ve had to deal with and manage with the physios. It’s hindered me a lot.
“But over the years learning about my body with the physios, we’ve come up with a routine to keep it at bay. We’re working a lot.
“I don’t think it’s something I’ll have to suffer for the rest of my career. I’m feeling really good now, the best I’ve felt. I’ve not had a twinge in my back for weeks now. It’s looking really good.
“Playing the most games I’ve played this season, playing every three days, it’s something I’ve never done before.
“It’s important I get the right rest so my back’s OK. So I might not do a whole training session two days after a game. I might just do half of it. I taper it that way.
“It’s a good feeling to be seen as an important player for the team, to help the team win games. I think it’s something I’ve never felt in my career.
“I’ve always been on the bench. At Palace, I felt like an important player, that I could help the team win games and be one of the main men in the team.
“Hopefully with more games and experience, I can be that player for Chelsea, too.”