N’Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek miss US tour over vaccine status

N'Golo Kante and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are missing out on Chelsea's pre-season tour of the US due to their Covid-19 vaccination status.

Non-US citizens are not allowed into the country unless they're fully vaccinated and it's understood that neither midfielder meets the entry requirements, which comes as a blow for Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel's preparations ahead of the new campaign as the Blues jet off to the States for their two-week tour.

Both players missed matches last season after catching the virus, with Kante testing positive ahead of Chelsea's crucial trip to Juventus in the Champions League back in September – a match they ended up losing.

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At the time, Tuchel refused to disclose Kante's vaccination status but said: "Of course we take actions and then are responsible for them.

"We don't like to lose players. But we are not now angry with N'Golo. We are concerned about him, as we are with any injured players who get a kick in a game."

Loftus-Cheek meanwhile caught the virus at the start of last season, before catching it again in December and missing a string of important games over the Christmas period. It isn't clear exactly how Kante and Loftus-Cheek have fallen short of vaccine requirements.

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Chelsea begin their pre-season tour against Mexican side Club America in Las Vegas on July 16, before heading to North Carolina to face MLS outfit Charlotte FC on July 20. They then round off their trip by facing London rivals Arsenal in Orlando on July 23.

Tuchel will be hoping the club can wrap up a few signings in the coming days so they have a chance to fly out and join the squad in the States, with deals for Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Nathan Ake inching toward completion.

Elsewhere, moves for Raphinha and Matthijs de Ligt remain in the balance, while new owner Todd Boehly was in Barcelona this week reportedly discussing a move for Frenkie de Jong, with the likes of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta potentially going the other way.

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