Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour has reportedly emerged as a target for Serie A giants Napoli ahead of the January transfer window.
According to a report from Italian publication Calciomercato, Italian outfit Napoli are interested in signing Chelsea midfield ace Billy Gilmour on loan in the January transfer window with a view to making the transfer permanent in the summer.
The 19-year-old came through the youth ranks at Scottish giants Rangers before Chelsea snapped him up in 2017. Having spent the first couple of years with the club’s reserve team, Gilmour made his first-team debut for the Blues in August last year, in a Premier League clash against Sheffield United.
Gilmour had been growing in stature at Chelsea after match-winning performances against the likes of Liverpool and Everton earlier this year. However, a knee injury prior to lockdown saw him get sidelined for a considerable amount of time.
Indeed, the youngster has only recently returned to full fitness, making his first appearance of the ongoing campaign against Sevilla earlier this week. Till date, the 19-year-old has made a total of 12 senior appearances for the west London giants.
Despite him having hardly played this season, Napoli have taken an interest in Gilmour. As per the report, the Partenopei have been keeping an eye on the Scottish Under-21 international since last year and are now planning to test the waters with an approach for him in January.
The Serie A giants are planning to sign Gilmour on a temporary basis till the end of the 2020/21 campaign before making his transfer permanent in the summer, based on how the teenager adapts to the methods of manager Gennaro Gattuso.
In fact, it is even claimed that Napoli are prepared to let Stanislav Lobotka, who does not feature prominently in the manager’s plans, leave in the winter in order to make room for Gilmour’s potential arrival from Stamford Bridge.
Regular playing minutes are likely to be hard to come by for Gilmour at Chelsea currently, given the packed midfield department at manager Frank Lampard’s disposal. So, a loan move to Napoli, who already have a Blues’ player on loan in Tiemoue Bakayoko, could prove to be beneficial.
At the same time, it is very much unlikely that the Blues would allow for an option to make the Scotsman’s transfer permanent in any potential deal with Napoli. Lampard rates Gilmour very highly and has previously stressed that he sees a big future for the youngster at Stamford Bridge.