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Former Stamford Bridge youth and reserve coach Brendan Rodgers confident his association with Londoners could prove decisive, but the Blues are cautious about possible deal

EXCLUSIVE

By Wayne Veysey | Chief correspondent

Swansea City have emerged as favourites ahead of Bolton Wanderers to take Josh McEachran on loan from Chelsea in January, Goal.com has learned.

The two Premier League clubs have both made approaches to the Londoners about the 18-year-old’s potential availability.

Goal.com understands that Chelsea are wary of loaning out McEachran even though he has figured for only seven minutes for the first team this season outside of the League Cup.

Chelsea’s reluctance to release the central midfielder is based upon their generally poor track record of loaning out promising young players and then integrating them successfully back into their first-team squad.

Swansea and Bolton have both made enquiries to the London club in recent weeks and it is understood that some progress has been made in discussions with Brendan Rodgers, who was a youth and reserve team coach at Stamford Bridge under Jose Mourinho.

Rodgers is confident that his association with Chelsea and Swansea’s commitment to a fluid passing philosophy will help sway them into loaning out McEachran for the second half of the season.

“He is a wonderful talent and the positive thing is that clubs see Swansea as a club that can develop such talents,” the Swansea manager said last month.

“He has a big future, he played in the same team as my son right through the system at Chelsea and has kicked on since he turned 14. He has got great vision, he is a terrific footballer and he needs to play in a certain system.

"I think [the Chelsea manager] Andre [Villas-Boas] and [sporting director] Michael Emenalo understand he will need to get some games and when that moment comes he is certainly a player who would do terrific here.”

McEachran has been used more sparingly by Villas-Boas than his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, who used the England under-21 international on 17 occasions last season, although he started only a single Premier League match and two Champions League group games.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle believes his guidance of Daniel Sturridge during a five-month loan spell last season, when the newly capped England striker ignited his career with eight league goals in 12 games, could weigh in his team’s favour.

Coyle did a similarly successful job of kickstarting Jack Wilshere's Premier League career the previous season.

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