We’re less than two weeks away from the start of preseason, and while most of Chelsea’s first-team squad won’t be reporting back for a bit longer than that — since most of them had been or are still involved with their national teams at Euro 2020 — we will have plenty of fringe players and potential loanees to assess.
Chief among those are midfielders Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Tiémoué Bakayoko, both of whom are apparently set to get at least a brief look-in from Thomas Tuchel before making any decisions about their futures. Loftus-Cheek had an okay time on loan at Fulham last season while Bakayoko impressed in spurts, as usual, at Napoli. The latter has been linked with AC Milan and Fiorentina (at least before Gennaro Gattuso left), but there’s been little in the way of rumors about the former so perhaps he will indeed stay with the team.
An exclusive look at Chelsea's pre-season:— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) June 25, 2021
- 5 July return date for some
- lots of former youth and academy players included in initial group
- 9 July return for others
- Ireland training camp & pre-season games
- before some high profile friendlieshttps://t.co/1vUSHtlj9u #CFC
To make room, Billy Gilmour is set to join Premier League newboys Norwich City on loan for the season. The Pink Un, the Athletic, Goal and the Northern Echo are all reporting that the move should be finalized by the end of the week, with Sky Sports and the Daily Mail reporting that a medical has already been scheduled.
There was interest from a number of other Premier League sides, like Wolverhampton Wanderers, Southampton or Newcastle United, with strong interest also coming from Gilmour’s boyhood club, Rangers, as the Easter Daily Press, Daily Record and BBC have noted. However, Tuchel and Norwich boss Daniel Farke’s good relationship (Farke was the youth coach at BVB when Tuchel managed the first-team), as well as playing style and tactical setup have seemingly won them the race.