Norwich close to signing Billy Gilmour on loan from Chelsea

Norwich are closing in on a deal to sign Billy Gilmour on a season’s loan from Chelsea. The Scotland midfielder has been targeted by several Premier League clubs and Norwich are emerging as his likeliest destination.

Chelsea have plenty of competition for places in midfield and Gilmour found himself below N’Golo Kanté, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho last season. The 20-year-old, who is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19, was restricted to five appearances in all competitions after Thomas Tuchel’s arrival at Stamford Bridge last January and he is keen to continue his development on loan.

Gilmour, absent when Scotland crashed out of Euro 2020 after losing their final group match to Croatia on Tuesday, is one of the most talented youngsters at Chelsea. He impressed after breaking into the side under Frank Lampard during the 2019-20 season and offered some promising flashes under Tuchel.

However Gilmour wants to play regularly and Chelsea are prepared to let him join Norwich, who won the Championship last season. Tuchel managed Borussia Dortmund at a time when Norwich’s manager, Daniel Farke, was overseeing the German side’s second team. The pair have a good relationship and Chelsea feel that Farke’s brand of football would suit Gilmour’s game. On Wednesday Norwich brough the goalkeeper Angus Gunn back to the club from Southampton on a four-year deal.

Gilmour, who will be free to undergo a medical after his quarantine ends next Wednesday, was man of the match when Scotland drew with England last Friday. His quality is not in doubt and Norwich could yet have to fend off attempts by rival clubs to hijack the deal.

Gilmour’s departure would make room for Chelsea to add cover in midfield. First, however, Tuchel wants to take the opportunity to assess Ruben Loftus-Cheek in pre-season. Loftus-Cheek spent last season on loan at Fulham and the midfielder, whose development was halted by a serious achilles injury two years ago, is determined to prove himself at Chelsea.

Tuchel will also take a look at Tiémoué Bakayoko, who has struggled since joining Chelsea in 2017. The former Monaco midfielder has been loaned out in each of the last three seasons and Chelsea have been trying to find a buyer.