Southampton are set to do battle with several Premier League clubs in the pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, according to Hampshire Live and The Daily Mail.

The Saints are understood to be wanting to bolster their midfield options while the England international is seeking more first team football away from Stamford Bridge.

Loftus-Cheek, 24, has been at Chelsea since he was 8-years-old, but spent time on loan at Crystal Palace earlier in his career.

It appears possible that he will go out on loan again, while remaining at a top-tier outfit. St. Mary’s could be the ideal place for Loftus-Cheek, not only to get more game time, but also because he shares an agent with Fraser Forster, James Ward-Prowse and Jack Stephens.

The midfielder spent much of last season injured and upon his return, he found opportunities very hard to come by, playing just 66 minutes of the Blues’ last seven competitive fixtures.

Despite this, he has proven to be an exciting and creative player in the top flight and at international level. His apparent availability has drawn attention from numerous other suitors, including Aston Villa, West Ham and Newcastle.

Ralph Hassenhuttl may face a challenge to secure his signature, however, the signs are there for a deal to happen should the Saints’ boss make a move.