Borussia Monchengladbach sporting director Max Eberl has confirmed that Andreas Christensen will return to Chelsea at the end of the current season – even though the Bundesliga side had previously expressed interest in securing the services of the promising centre-back on a permanent basis.
Christensen made three appearances for Chelsea under former manager Jose Mourinho during the 2014-2015 campaign, having joined the Blues' academy from Brondby at the age of 16 as a prospect for the future.
The Blues later agreed to send him on loan to Monchengladbach on a two-season loan in order to help him to complete his development.
The 20-year-old has since impressed at the Bundesliga and during the last summer transfer window, reports in Spain claimed that even Barcelona had been attracted by his meteoric development.
Monchengladbach's director of football Eberl said then that the Bundesliga giants were ready to break the bank to convince Chelsea to part with him on a permanent basis – after the Dane was named player of the 2015-2016 season at the club.
"In the case of Christensen we are ready to make a record transfer bid," Eberl then said. "We know that a player with his quality does not come cheap."
However, the Monchengladbach chief has now admitted a defeat in their bid to secure his services on permanent after the club also confirmed the departure of coveted Mahmoud Dahoud to Borussia Dortmund.
"He must go back to Chelsea FC," Eberl said as quoted by Kicker. "Those are the two players [Dahoud and Christensen] that we have to replace in the summer.
Christensen and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte will have now the final word for the player to stay at the Premier League leaders ahead of the 2017-2018 campaign amid reports linking the Blues with a number of centre-backs.
John Terry's future at Stamford Bridge is uncertain but Chelsea have already recalled Nathan Ake from Bournemouth during the January transfer window and also have David Luiz, Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and Kurt Zouma to cover the centre-back role.
Nevertheless, in January, Christensen's father said that his son won't return to Chelsea to be a mere back-up.
"As it is right now, he's at Chelsea again this summer," his father and adviser Sten Christensen told Danish publication BT. "It is important for Andreas that he plays. He will not return to Chelsea and sit on the bench. It is this transfer window that determines how Andreas's situation becomes in the summer. If Chelsea buy 10 defenders, it may well be that we need to do something else. But let's see."