Fikayo Tomori on Milan’s wanted list after Chelsea open door to loan

Milan have entered the race to sign Fikayo Tomori on loan for the rest of the season. The Serie A leaders are looking to strengthen at the back and are considering the Chelsea defender as an alternative to Strasbourg’s Mohamed Simakan.

Tomori’s hopes of joining Milan could rest on the Italian club missing out on Simakan. They want to buy the French centre-back but face stiff competition from RB Leipzig for the 20-year-old.

Milan are exploring other options and have been alerted to Frank Lampard confirming that Tomori will be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge on loan. Chelsea’s squad contains five centre-backs and Tomori, who also has interest from Premier League clubs, has fallen to the bottom of the queue since breaking into the first team last season.

Chelsea were left with too much competition in central defence after failing to sell Antonio Rüdiger following the arrival of Thiago Silva during the last transfer window. They were prepared to let Tomori leave on loan on deadline day after Rüdiger, who had fallen out of favour, saw moves to Paris Saint-Germain, Tottenham and Milan fall through. The 23-year-old Tomori rejected the chance to join West Ham after receiving no assurances that he would be a regular.

That decision has not paid off for Tomori, who had also been targeted by Rennes and Everton. Rüdiger has since established himself as first in line behind Silva and Kurt Zouma, the first-choice pairing, and Andreas Christensen is fourth choice. Tomori has often struggled to make the matchday squad and has made only four appearances.

The England international’s situation became clearer when he failed to start Chelsea’s win against Morecambe in the third round of the FA Cup. Lampard explained that Tomori was on the bench because “he could be going on loan to get games”. It was a surprise, though, that Lampard brought Tomori on in the 80th minute. The defender is now Cup-tied.

Tomori has grown restless in recent months. Lampard brought him to Derby on loan in the 2018-19 season and initially used him extensively after becoming Chelsea’s manager 18 months ago. Yet Tomori fell out of favour during the second half of last season, with injuries also stalling his progress.

Tomori’s departure on a temporary basis looks inevitable. Leeds and Newcastle could try to rival Milan, and there may be renewed interest from Rennes and clubs in La Liga.