Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Newcastle ‘make contact’ with former Chelsea man but face two major issues

Fikayo Tomori of AC Milan

Newcastle eye Fikayo Tomori

Newcastle United have reportedly enquired about centre-back Fikayo Tomoro as they try to lure him away from AC Milan this summer.

The defender began his career at Chelsea, where he won two FA Youth Cups and two UEFA Youth League crowns in 2015 and 2016.

Despite his academy success with the Blues, Tomori made just 27 appearances for their first-team – 22 of which came in the 2019/20 season when the west London outfit were under a transfer ban and there was a greater emphasis on utilising youth players.

With his path to the first-team blocked by Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, and Thiago Silva, among others, the former Brighton loanee joined Milan in January 2021 on loan for the rest of the campaign.

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After shining at the Rossoneri, the Italian giants exercised their £25m buy option following the conclusion of the loan and Tomori said goodbye to Chelsea after 16 years there.

With his help, Milan won their first Scudetto in 11 years, ended the season with the best defensive record in the division, and he personally was named in the 2021/22 Serie A team of the year by the Italian Footballers’ Association.

However, despite his impressive performances for Milan, England caps were few and far between. To date, he has five caps to his name and missed out on the Three Lions’ 26-man squad for the Euros in Germany.

Hot on the heels of that omission, though, the 26-year-old, whose contract at San Siro runs until 2027, has been linked with a move to Newcastle.

Newcastle put the feelers out to Tomori’s team

According to Football Insider, the Magpies have ‘made contact’ with Tomori’s representatives in a bid to ascertain if he would be keen on a Premier League return.

Despite signing 6ft 3in centre-back Lloyd Kelly from Bournemouth on a free transfer this month, the Toon are looking to strengthen further in that department and Tomori, who won the Under-20 World Cup in 2017 with England, could fit the bill.

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Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is short in that area of the field as Sven Botman is expected to be out for much of the year due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in March and fellow defender and teammate Jamaal Lascelles could be sidelined for a similar period due to the same injury.

However, there could be two sizeable hurdles in the way for Newcastle. One, they may have to sell players before they can buy any – something the club’s CEO Darren Eales admitted was a very real possibility.

Newcastle face two hurdles

On not falling afoul of profit and sustainability rules, he said in January: “It’s just the nature of the beast. If you trade players on, it creates more headroom. You have to keep growing that headroom, increasing commercial revenue and player trading.

“It’s difficult to hypothesise, but if we’re offered £1bn for one of those players, then no one could argue against that making sense. Any decision we make will always be against the backdrop of the medium to long-term benefit for the club.

“It’s difficult to say specifically on certain players, but I can say that, if we’re going to get to where we want to get to, at times it is necessary to trade your players.”

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Secondly, Tomori may not want a move to Newcastle. According to Viktor Kolar, who is the director of Sport Invest (which represents the ex-Derby County loanee), the defender may stay in Milan.

He said in March: “Tomori is a loyal boy and doesn’t want to leave Milan, especially in a moment of difficulty for the club. However, Fikayo has the potential to take a step forward in the future.

“If he is well, he will be looked for [attract interest], it’s normal. Tomori is already thinking about his future. He comes from a very solid family and knows that playing football won’t be forever.”

An intriguing summer lies ahead.