Gladbach accept Andreas Christensen will return to Chelsea after loan spell
Borussia Monchengladbach are resigned to losing Chelsea loanee Andreas Christensen at the end of the season, sporting director Max Eberl has confirmed.
Christensen, 20, has impressed greatly during a two-year spell in the Bundesliga with Gladbach, who have made no secret of their desire to sign him permanently.
Chelsea, however, have never wavered in their stance that the 20-year-old is an important part of their future plans, and Eberl says Gladbach have accepted they will have to replace the Dane, as well as Borussia Dortmund-bound midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud.
"He must go back to Chelsea FC," Eberl was quoted as saying by kicker. "Those are the two players [Dahoud and Christensen] that we have to replace in the summer.
"There are no others. And we don't want any others [to leave us]."
Christensen has made 53 Bundesliga appearances for Gladbach since arriving on loan from Chelsea in the summer of 2015, scoring five goals, as well as being ever-present in both of the Foals' unsuccessful Champions League group stage campaigns.
Chelsea boast the joint-best defence in the Premier League this season having kept 13 clean sheets and conceded just 21 goals in 28 matches, thanks in part to a settled three-man defence consisting of Gary Cahill, David Luiz and Cesar Azpilicueta.
Returning to Stamford Bridge this summer would commit Christensen to a battle with Conte's established starters, fellow prospects Kurt Zouma and Nathan Ake and any defensive summer signings.
In January his father, Sten, warned that his son would not agree to go back to Chelsea if it means sitting on the substitutes' bench.
Liam is ESPN FC's Chelsea correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @Liam_Twomey.