N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been excluded from Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the USA – due to their Covid-19 vaccination status.
Thomas Tuchel has named a 29-man squad for the tour, which will start with a week-long training camp at Los Angeles before travelling to Las Vegas, Charlotte and Florida, where the Blues will play friendlies against Club America, Charlotte and Arsenal.
Current regulations in the US mean that anyone wanting to enter the country have taken the Covid-19 vaccine.
“N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek will not travel due to their Covid vaccination status,” Chelsea confirmed in a club statement.
Their absence will give opportunities to some of the club’s younger players including Conor Gallagher, Billy Gilmour and Ethan Ampadu, all of whom have travelled to USA following loan spells away from Stamford Bridge last season.
There will be considerable excitement by the inclusion of Christian Pulisic, who returns to his home country ahead of this winter’s World Cup, while Hakim Ziyech, who has been strongly linked with a move to AC Milan, also travels.
Tuchel will also be hoping that Raheem Sterling can join the trip after the club reportedly agreed personal terms with Manchester City earlier in the week.
Armando Broja, who impressed on loan at Southampton last season, will look to join up with the squad next week, Chelsea said.
Chelsea start their Premier League campaign at Everton on August 6.