Chelsea could send Bamford back on loan - sources

The London club have opened contract talks with the newly-crowned Championship player of the year

Chelsea could send Patrick Bamford out on loan again next season even if he agrees a new contract this summer, HITC sources understand.

The 21-year-old was crowned Championship player of the year at a gala ceremony in London on Sunday night for his goalscoring exploits during a loan spell at Middlesbrough.

Chelsea have opened preliminary talks with Bamford over a new contract to replace his existing agreement, which has just over a year to run.

HITC understands that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will assess Bamford in pre-season training in July before deciding whether to integrate him into the first-team squad or sanction another loan spell.

The London club have been impressed with the forward’s progress during loan spells at MK Dons, Derby County and Boro, and are keen to tie him down to an improved deal.

Bamford’s future will depend upon Chelsea’s summer recruitment, with the Premier League leaders expected to attempt to sign a striker in the forthcoming window as back-up next season to Diego Costa and Loic Remy. Didier Drogba’s future hangs in the balance although Mourinho has said the 37-year-old Ivorian could still feature for the club again next season.

Bamford has scored 19 goals on loan for Boro, including 17 in the Championship as they attempt to clinch automatic promotion into the Premier League.

On winning the award on Sunday night, Bamford said: “First and foremost I have to concentrate on these last few games and hope that Boro as a team go up and we can push into the Premier League.

“After that I'm concentrating on the Euro's with England so, I think by the time I'm back from the Euro's I can sit down with Chelsea and see what's happening. There is a chance I could play against Boro but it's open ended and I won't find out till July.”

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