Lewis Baker is set to avoid the fire sale of academy talent and sign a new Chelsea deal, with seven clubs in the Premier League and Championship lining up a two-year loan move for the 22-year-old, Goal understands.
Chelsea want to keep Baker but don’t think he is ready for the first team, and they have decided to offer him a new deal before loaning him out.
Baker has just come out of a successful two-year loan spell at Vitesse in the Eredivisie and impressed for England’s Under-21s at the European Championship.
The attacking midfielder will avoid being sold as Charly Musonda looks set to join Celtic – with other loanees having already left the west London club in 2017, including Nathan Ake, Bertrand Traore, Christian Atsu and Patrick Bamford.
Four clubs from the Premier League and three clubs from the Championship have enquired about Baker’s availability but all parties will need to sit down and work out the best option.
Baker told Goal in May he was thankful for his experience at Vitesse, where he won the club’s first trophy in its 125-year history, but that his next step would be a loan move in England.
“The first year [on loan from Chelsea at Vitesse] was more learning, adapting to living away, adapting to a different league. The second year was more producing and showing what I am capable of. I think it has been fantastic to move away and learn different things, but I want to be back in England.
“You do miss little things about home. You do sometimes feel a little bit far away. For me, the two years away were fantastic and I am always open to suggestions to see who comes in, but it would be great for me to play more in England.
Chelsea are increasingly looking at setting up two-year loan deals for players, as longer loan spells have worked for a number of prospects — including Thibaut Courtois, who spent three years at Atletico Madrid.
Andreas Christensen also went on a two-year loan deal to Borussia Monchengladbach and he will return to Chelsea for pre-season training, as revealed by Goal in June. He will still need to impress Antonio Conte enough to be included in the first-team squad for the season ahead.
The identity of the teams who have made the loan offers for Baker isn’t known, but one of the options is thought to be a larger club.