AC Milan are on the verge of completing a loan move for the out-of-favor Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori, according to the latest reports in Italy.
A series of injuries have prompted AC Milan to dig into the market for fresh faces to keep the team competitive on multiple fronts. Soualiho Meite arrived from Torino on a six-month loan earlier this month. The 26-year-old Frenchman will increase the competition in an already well-stacked midfield. Meanwhile, Mario Mandzukic joined the current Serie A leaders as a free agent.
However, the sporting director Paolo Maldini has labeled the defense as a department that requires new additions. As such, the Rossoneri have been scouring the European market for a new central defender and a reliable back-up option for Theo Hernandez.
While waiting for Barcelona’s response to a loan bid for Junior Firpo, Milan have come one step away from snapping up the signature of Fikayo Tomori. The 23-year-old centre-back will arrive on loan for the remainder of the season, with a non-obligated option to buy set at €25million. According to the renowned Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, the English youngster landed at the Malpensa airport earlier today ahead of undergoing medicals.
Tomori has found himself on the fringes of Frank Lampard’s side this season, failing to make a single Premier League start. Indeed, Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma, and Thiago Silva have all been above him in the pecking order. Lampard himself confirmed Tomori’s departure today, explaining the reason behind his decision to sanction the transfer.
“I have five center-backs, and I can’t do this job and expect to please every fan; that’s football,” explained the manager. “What players you should pick or not and when you are searching for consistency, or going on an unbeaten run, there were questions.
“I have to pick two at a time, and the numbers don’t always add up. Fikayo is a developing player, a very good player,” Lampard added. “I have seen him rise from arriving at Derby when he was quite a quiet lad to being one of the best defenders in the Championship and a Chelsea and England regular, so I think his journey has been great. His next step, whether it is on loan or not, he is going to be a top player.”
Tomori will have a mountain to climb to secure regular first-team action under Stefano Pioli. Simon Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli have been Pioli’s first-choice centre-back partnership this season, while the up-and-coming youngster Pierre Kalulu did exceptionally well when called into action.