Granovskaia playing hardball as Italians test Chelsea over defender

Date published: Tuesday 1st June 2021 2:31 - Neil Foster

Marina Granovskaia Chelsea director

Reports in Italy claim AC Milan have now opened dialogue with Chelsea over the future of defender Fikayo Tomori and are trying to drive his price tag down.

Tomori, 23, spent the second half of 2020-2021 on loan at the San Siro. And it was an impressive stint as the man with one England cap enjoyed 16 starts among 17 Serie A appearances. Manager Stefano Pioli was pleased with what he saw and wants to secure the Canadian-born centre-back on permanent terms.

Milan have made no secret of their desire to land the former Derby County loan man. And it was reported over the weekend that they were keen to get the ball rolling.

Now it seems as though negotiations are under way, with Marina Granovskaia fighting Chelsea’s corner. The Blues inserted a purchase clause of €28m in his loan agreement with the Italian giants.

Eyebrows were raised at the time as it was felt the youngster was worth considerably more. But Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claim Milan officials are currently trying to reduce that fee.

The outlet state that the ‘Tomori mission has come to life’ and ‘everything could be unlocked in a few days, if not a few hours’.

However, Granovskaia drives a hard bargain and is said to have already rejected their first proposal.

It is thought the west Londoners do not want to sell Tomori. But he was only a peripheral figure in the squad and is clearly valued in Milan.

Gazzetta dello Sport have not put a timeframe on when they feel a deal could be done. And much ‘will depend on Chelsea and the willingness of the Blues to grant a discount to Milan, who have moved to lower the price’.

Tomori proving his worth

Having come up through the Stamford Bridge youth ranks, Tomori made his first-team debut in May 2016. But he has made only 27 appearances in all competitions having been loaned out to Championship clubs.

Daniel James, Fikayo Tomori

He spent time with Brighton, Hull City and the Rams before a first move overseas in the winter. Milan are said to have offered €20m but it is unlikely that Chelsea will buckle.

Granovskaia is a ‘historically tough nut to crack’ when it comes to transfers and the Rossoneri will not get an easy ride.

However, the report adds that Milan feel ‘the expense would be worth the venture if it closed at €28m’. That could be all the fuel that the Chelsea director needs to push the Diavolo to pay the full amount required.

READ MORE: Tottenham revive pursuit of rival defender amid contract uncertainty

 

 

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