CHELSEA are aware of Newcastle United’s interest in Billy Gilmour – but Norwich City look to have won the battle to sign the Scotland midfielder on a season-long loan.

Newcastle officials are understood to have flagged up their interest in Gilmour at the end of last season, long before he starred in Scotland’s Euro 2020 game against England at Wembley.

The Chelsea hierarchy noted their interest in securing a loan deal, but were also approached by a number of other Premier League clubs before the start of the European Championships.

Gilmour’s outstanding performance against England led to a renewed bout of speculation over his future, and with Scotland now having exited the tournament, Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel is keen to make a swift decision over the 20-year-old future.

Tuchel regards Gilmour, who is currently self-isolating after testing positive for Covid, as a very bright prospect, but does not feel he is ready to claim a regular place in Chelsea’s starting side.

As a result, rather than keep him on the bench at Stamford Bridge and use him in the early rounds of the cup competitions, Tuchel would rather send him to another top-flight club who can offer regular first-team football.

Norwich signalled their desire to sign the youngster immediately after their promotion back to the Premier League was confirmed, and Tuchel is understood to feel that his fellow German, Daniel Farke, who is the manager of the Canaries, will use Gilmour in his optimal position and best aid his development.

If Gilmour moves to Carrow Road, he will effectively replace Emi Buendia, who left Norwich to join Aston Villa in a £35m move at the start of the summer.

The level of his involvement at Newcastle would have been less certain as the Magpies are still hoping to re-sign Joe Willock on a permanent basis following last season's successful loan.

Willock remains the Magpies’ number one summer target, and until his future is resolved, it will be difficult for Steve Bruce to pursue other midfield options.

Newcastle are still to confirm their retained list for next season, with the futures of Fabian Schar, Federico Fernandez, Andy Carroll and Dwight Gayle still uncertain.

Meanwhile, with a planned pre-season training camp in Portugal mired in uncertainty because of coronavirus regulations, Newcastle could set up a pre-season game against Liverpool at Anfield.