Transfer Talk: Rangers return on the cards for Scotland ace Billy
Billy Gilmour's promising career looks to have stalled — but a move to Rangers could get Chelsea's prodigious starlet back on track.
The Scotland international has struggled to make an impact while on loan at relegated Norwich this season.
And he is now being linked with another loan move north of the border, with the Gers reportedly keen on bringing him to Ibrox next term.
As Giovanni van Bronckhorst's outfit prepare for tonight's Europa League final against Eintracht Frankfurt, we consider how such a deal could pan out for both parties.
Gilmour is a product of Rangers' academy, having joined the the Glaswegian giants at the age of eight.
The midfielder rose through the youth ranks, receiving national attention in 2016 after making his debut for the Under-20s side aged just 15.
As a result, Gilmour was invited to train with the first team by then-manager Mark Warburton in January 2017, before being handed a squad number shortly after.
But before the Irvine native had made a first team appearance at Ibrox, he turned down a professional contract and moved to Chelsea in the summer of 2017.
Gilmour made quite an impact with Chelsea's youth team, winning the Under-18s Premier League and FA Youth Cup in his first season at Cobham.
The youngster was fast-tracked into the senior side and became a full member of Frank Lampard's squad in 2019-20.
After making a handful of appearances, the 12-cap international received plaudits for his man-of-the-match performance in a 2-0 FA Cup victory over Liverpool in March 2020.
That display earned Gilmour his first Premier League start in the 4-0 demolition of Everton later that week, when he again won the man-of-the-match award.
But the pandemic-enforced break the following month, coupled with a knee injury, stopped the Scottish prospect's impressive progress in its tracks.
Expectations were high when Gilmour joined newly-promoted Premier League side Norwich on a season-long loan deal last summer.
In fact, it was reported that Blues manager Thomas Tuchel had personally opted for the midfielder to move to Carrow Road due to his close relationship with manager Daniel Farke.
Even though the Canaries soon dismissed the German following a dismal start to the season, Gilmour still ended up making 24 Premier League appearances this term.
Despite Norwich sitting rock-bottom of the Premier League, the Scot has impressed at times.
The Norfolk side's No8 can boast a passing accuracy of 83.7% and has averaged a commendable 3.05 possessions won in the middle third per 90 minutes.
A move to Ibrox may be just what is required for Gilmour to get his career back on track — and cement his place in the Scotland side ahead of a potential winter World Cup.
The Gers are believed to be keen on making a midfield addition in the upcoming window, with veteran Steven Davis' contract set to expire and Aaron Ramsey's loan coming to an end.
Davis, 37, is a vital cog in Van Bronckhorst's midfield and the Rangers hierarchy will be hopeful that Gilmour can perform a similar role.
Both are superb technicians who are capable of dictating games, while the 20-year-old will also add an injection of youth into Rangers' engine room.
It remains to be seen whether Gilmour will return to Ibrox — but former Scotland international Kris Commons would be keen for the move to happen.
He said: "Rangers should get on the phone to Chelsea and at least ask the question.
"I'm a big fan of Steven Davis and he's been brilliant for Rangers. But I would have Gilmour ahead of him all day. That's how good the boy is.
"He could transform the Ibrox midfield and offer a whole new dynamic as the deep-lying playmaker."
A triumph in this evening's final — and Champions League football next season — may just be enough to entice Gilmour into a homecoming.