Chelsea chief Todd Boehly is said to have subtly implied to Billy Gilmour that Thomas Tuchel was facing the sacking before the Blues midfielder sealed an ill-timed transfer to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Failing to find favour with Tuchel following his season-long loan at Norwich City, Gilmour completed a £9million move to Brighton on Transfer Deadline Day. In the final few days of the summer window, the Scotland international, 21, was told by Tuchel that he did not feature in his plans for the forthcoming campaign and was free to find himself a new club.
Gilmour was then encouraged to complete a permanent switch to Graham Potter's side as Tuchel believed he would flourish under the guidance of the then-Seagulls boss.
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However, the move was undermined by Todd Boehly, who tried to convince the 21-year-old to remain at Stamford Bridge, as the situation could soon change in west London. The Athletic report Boehly subtly suggested Gilmour should wait for his chance and that he would be given an opportunity to impress in the coming weeks.
The Blues owner tried to reason that it was not long until the World Cup break and if Gilmour was unable to break into the first team, he would have another chance to leave in January – but the midfielder was insistent on finalising his £9m exit.
Speaking shortly after Gilmour's departure, Tuchel gave a frank assessment of his time at the club: "We had high hopes and he played for us in the first half-a-year when I was at Chelsea, played some important matches for us and looked for a new challenge that did not go so well for him with Norwich.
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"We expected more, he expected more so it was like, without pointing a finger, but it is difficult also for him and for us to not succeed, to not play at Norwich, to be relegated and then suddenly be a central midfielder for Chelsea and competing for top four and for every title.
"There's a huge step in between so we were looking. The ideal solution would have been maybe that he goes again on loan as the concurrence is huge for us in central midfield.
"And we felt like he is not the age where he can live again with five or seven or eight matches during a whole season to fulfil his own potential so ideally, it would have been another loan. Billy did not want to go on loan, it was a no-go for him so in the end, we agreed to a sale."
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