(Reuters) - Crystal Palace would be interested in bringing Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek back to Selhurst Park if the England international becomes available in the transfer market, manager Roy Hodgson said on Friday.
Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan at Palace and his fine displays earned him a call-up to England’s World Cup squad. The 22-year-old remained at Stamford Bridge this season and is keen to break into Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s first team.
The midfielder has made two substitute appearances for Chelsea in the league this season and started Thursday’s Europa League clash against Hungarian champions Vidi.
“It is not right to discuss these things because it is a hypothesis that Chelsea are not happy with him,” Hodgson told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“I don’t like to discuss players in that respect... What I’m prepared to say, and I have said it on many occasions, is that Loftus-Cheek did an outstanding job for us when he came here.
“We admire him and wish him well. Like other clubs I’m sure, when the day comes when he becomes available for transfer, we will be sticking our nose into that. Whether we will get him again, that’s another matter.”
Hodgson said his players should expect a stern test against promoted Wolves. Nuno Espirito Santo’s side are ninth in the table, four places above Palace, and have drawn with both Manchester City and Manchester United this season.
“It’s going to be a big test. They’re way up there in the table which for newcomers isn’t always the case, so we are preparing for a very difficult game,” Hodgson added.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis