Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has once again insisted that 19-year-old Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be promoted into the first-team next season, reports Goal.com.
Speaking to reporters ahead of his side's Premier League clash with Hull City, the Blues boss has played down rumours linking his side with a summer swoop for French superstar Paul Pogba.
Numerous reports have claimed that the Stamford Bridge outfit, as well as rivals Manchester United, have an interest in the Juventus man, however Mourinho has insisted he has a good group of midfielders already at his disposal.
Speaking directly about Loftus-Cheek, the Portuguese tactician has admitted that he's protected the youngster this term, but will let him off the leash in the 2015/16 campaign.
He's certainly not getting himself involved in any speculation regarding the future of Pogba, as he told reporters: “I don’t speak about Pogba or other players.
“The only thing I can tell you is that we look to our midfield players and between Fabregas, Matic, Ramires, Ruben, Mikel is injured, but between these guys we have a good group.
"Next season Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be competing for a first-team position. At the moment we are protecting him. Next season he will not be a number, he will be a player."
It appears, then, that Loftus-Cheek will battle the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Nemanja Matic and Co. for a place in the starting XI next season, but it remains to be seen as to whether the club make a move for Pogba.
Destined for greatness
There's no doubt about it, Loftus-Cheek looks set for a bright future in the game, but one thing that is certain is that Pogba is destined for the very top.
Perhaps, then, despite the array of talent already starring at the Bridge, Mourinho should target the talented Frenchman. At the end of the day, a midfield trio of Matic, Fabregas and Pogba would be a frightening prospect.
No matter what Mourinho says, he must be thinking about Pogba; he certainly won't want to see him return to Manchester United this summer. The Juventus man would improve all of the Premier League's elite clubs, so it could prove quite the battle to secure his signature.
Chelsea fans: Do you expect your club to make a move for Pogba? Have your say in the comments section below!