Fikayo Tomori has been involved in crunch talks with AC Milan as the Italian club seek to find out if they can keep him from Chelsea.
Tomori came through the academy ranks at Chelsea before becoming a first-team player after some time out on loan. However, his chances started to decrease and he decided to leave on loan again in January. This time, he joined a club much bigger than the others Chelsea had sent him to before.
Milan took the opportunity to strengthen their defence with the one-cap England man. Tomori has found much more continuity in Italy, starting 11 Serie A games so far.
Chelsea may have some regrets if Tomori leaves them permanently in the summer. Milan retain an option to buy the centre-back.
However, that deal is not a foregone conclusion. According to Sky Sport Italia, Tomori met with Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Ricky Massara on Wednesday.
Milan are trying to discover if the 23-year-old wants to stay with them permanently. They are also looking into the costs required to make that happen.
Hence, all the involved parties will have to wait until the end of the season to come to a conclusion.
That stance is backed up by Tuttosport, who cast doubt on how much Milan have been impressed by Tomori. His form has dropped in the last couple of games, so they want to weigh up his performances from their remaining matches this season.
Overall, though, his impression has been good, which is why they are considering a permanent deal.
Tomori remains under contract at Chelsea until 2024, so the Blues still have power in the negotiations.
Chelsea in ‘advanced’ talks for Ramos
Tomori’s departure would not be felt too hard by Chelsea if they were able to bring in a top-quality defender themselves.
One high-profile name they have been linked with is Sergio Ramos, who will seemingly be playing for a new club next season after his Real Madrid contract expires.
According to Don Balon, Chelsea have now emerged strongly in the race to sign him.
The Blues saw the benefits of adding experience to their backline with the acquisition of Thiago Silva in the summer. They are looking for a longer-term successor to the Brazilian but the opportunity to partner him with Ramos in the meantime is an inviting one.
Chelsea are apparently willing to offer him a huge salary worth €25m per season. That would surely end Madrid’s hopes of clinging on to him.
The claims have not been backed up by any other sources, though, so it remains to be seen how advanced the negotiations really are.