Everton could be set to step up their pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour, but their interest in one of his teammates has been discarded, according to reports.
Gilmour has seemed like an obvious target for Everton since their appointment of Frank Lampard. The former Chelsea manager gave the youngster his breakthrough at Stamford Bridge. However, things have not been so easy for Gilmour under Thomas Tuchel.
Indeed, the Scotland international spent the 2021-22 season on loan with Norwich City. During his time at Carrow Road, he was part of a squad that suffered relegation from the Premier League.
But Gilmour is likely to get his chance in the top-flight again next season, even if it is not back at Chelsea. He is no longer with the first-team group so he can explore his options in terms of a transfer.
Chelsea recently activated an option to extend his contract until 2024. Hence, they could be considering another loan placement for the 21-year-old.
According to the Daily Mail, Everton are continuing to monitor Gilmour’s situation. They would like to take him on a loan deal that would seemingly benefit all parties.
Lampard previously gave Gilmour 17 appearances for Chelsea. Now, he could be trying to put a plan in place which would see him amass more in a different blue shirt.
Everton have signed three players so far this summer – James Tarkowski, Dwight McNeil and Ruben Vinagre – but none play in Gilmour’s position of central midfield. Therefore, there could be a vacancy in that area of the pitch for Gilmour to fill.
However, one man who looks unlikely to cover there as well is Gilmour’s teammate, Ross Barkley.
The former Everton academy product has been linked with a return to the club from Chelsea, where he is out of favour. But the Daily Mail believe the Toffees are unlikely to go after him.
Instead, a return to Aston Villa, where he previously spent time on loan, would be more feasible for the 28-year-old. Only one year remains on his contract at Stamford Bridge.
Billy Gilmour a better pick for Frank Lampard
Despite the fate he suffered with Norwich last season, opting for Gilmour instead of Barkley could be sensible by Everton.
Barkley became a burden to Chelsea due to his inconsistent form and injury issues while on high wages. He still has time to get his career back on track, but a permanent deal for Everton would be risky.
In contrast, Gilmour is a younger player with potential whom they can help develop. They would benefit by doing so, even if it is just for a season.
Perhaps the prospect of a permanent deal could not be ruled out in the long-term. But for now, a loan would be the least risky strategy.