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Bristol City chief talks about the fight for Tammy Abraham, Chelsea's loan policy

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Tammy Abraham has been doing exceedingly well in his first loan spell so far; the youngster has found the net five times in  seven appearances for Bristol City and hopefully won't be stopping any time soon. While City manager Lee Johnson has claimed in the past that the club had spent significant time pursuing their interest in acquiring Abraham for the season and that it took some effort, Chief Operating Officer Mark Ashton revealed some of the finer details of the negotiation process to the Bristol Post.

"At the end of last season, Lee [Johnson, Bristol City manager] went to Chelsea's training ground and presented to [technical director] Michael Emenalo, while I went to Stamford Bridge and met Roman Abramovich's board of directors".

"They had tried these arrangements with English clubs before and, in their words, they hadn't worked. They gave me a list of clubs they would not do business with.

"I asked them to give us Tammy for the season and then judge us on what we do, not what we say. I told them we would show them what we could do and then build a long-term relationship.

"We then did the deal with Chelsea and sorted all of the finances, which were far from straightforward. Then we had to wait for [new Chelsea head coach Antonio] Conte."

"We had an agreement with Chelsea that, if Tammy came out on loan, it would be to Bristol City. We had that one in the drawer by the end of June."

What also might be interesting is what Ashton had to say about what happened when Conte did indeed see the youngster in action.

"We then brought Tammy and his family in, gave them a tour of Bristol and of the training ground and showed him where he would be living. But Chelsea had to delay, because Conte was coming in. Once he was in, he made it very clear that he liked Tammy Abraham.

"When Tammy went from the Euros [European Under-19 Championship] straight to the U.S. on tour with Chelsea, the feedback we got from Chelsea's directors was that Conte was keen on him. At that stage, we were thinking he might keep him in and not allow us to take him.

"We kept pushing and the player, his family and his representatives kept pushing. Tammy knew that, if he stayed at Chelsea, his game time would be limited. He wanted to come here and play.

"Eventually, I got an email from Chelsea's board saying Conte had agreed to Tammy coming to us. We already had a deal agreed with Chelsea, so Tammy flew straight to Bristol from the U.S. and we did it all the next day."

- Mark Ashton; source: Bristol Post

Abraham may be just one of our 38-man loan army but he's one of the club's biggest hopefuls.  The future is bright; hopefully it all works out well in the end.

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