Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has seemingly given Ruben Loftus-Cheek the green light to leave on loan and Aston Villa are believed to be in the mix to take him

Dean Smith will be delighted with his squad’s strong start to the season but he has spoken about the possibility of bringing in an additional midfielder to improve his options.

Having been linked with a move for Loftus-Cheek, who has been involved just once this season, the England man has been left out of three matchday squads, leading to increased speculation.

Now, Lampard has spoken about the 24-year-old’s immediate future in his pre-match press conference ahead of their Carabao Cup tie with Tottenham:

I’m very open with Ruben and we’ve had a couple of conversations in the last week.

On the possibility of the midfielder leaving Stamford Bridge on loan:

There’s a possibility that he may go out to play games because I think that will be great for him. We hold him in very high regard here, I certainly do and that could be a good option for him.

The Chelsea legend now manager went on to describe the former Crystal Palace loanee as ‘versatile’ and as offering his squad ‘something different’.

With the strength in depth at his disposal, it seems Lampard is happy to discuss the possibility of Loftus-Cheek leaving temporarily, leading the way for Smith to perhaps make his move.