Exclusive claims €300k defender “unlikely” to accept “regressive” Championship loan – and club not planning to sel

Our writer Simon Phillips has launched a nice exclusive on his website today on the future of Alfie Gilchrist.

The defender came to Chelsea’s rescue from relative obscurity in the middle of this season, when we were at the depth of our injury woe in defence. He’s since made a lot of really impressive appearances late in games as a sub, as well as getting his first few starts under his belt too.

He’s now in a tricky situation however. Next season we’re likely to have a much more filled out roster of defenders available, which will push him deeper in the depth chart. While Thiago Silva may leave, Wesley Fofana has to return at some point, and it feels likely we invest in another centre back.

Reece James is now fit to alternative with Malo Gusto down the right, closing that avenue off too.

Alfie Gilhrist celebrates.

The future destination – and position – for a potential star

Phillips writes that Gilchrist, who recently extended his contract, will be looking to go on loan next season. Interestingly, European options including Serie A, the Bundesliga and Premier League are being considered, with a Championship move called “unlikely and regressive.”

Another important note is that Gilchrist sees himself very much as a centre back, despite getting most of his minutes for us this season filling in on the right. That will obviously play a very important part in deciding where his destination on loan is.

In conclusion, Phillips shuts down the idea that the contract was agreed simply to help juice up Gilchrist’s value (currently rated at just €300k) ahead of a planned sale. Of course nobody can rule that out as an option long term, but for now it genuinely seems the plan is to develop him and integrate at some point down the line.

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