Leeds ‘near deal’ for Chelsea defender as price is set for second star

Fikayo Tomori TEAMtalk

Leeds United are being strongly linked with a deal for Fikayo Tomori amid suggestions Chelsea are willing to loan the defender out this month.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have made an impressive return to life in the Premier League and currently sit 12th after 17 games. Their attacking verve has won plenty of admirers, though they do have quite a leaky defence. Indeed, one pundit has labelled Bielsa and his side ‘average’ in the face of their porous nature.

However, there are strong mitigating circumstances for their leaky defence. Their two summer defensive signings, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente are both sidelined through injury. Koch is out until March after succumbing to a knee problem at Chelsea. His substitute that day, Llorente, has not been seen in a Leeds shirt before or since.

Add to their problems, skipper Liam Cooper is also sidelined, while Gaetano Berardi remains a long-term absentee. It has left Leeds playing a right-back and a fifth-choice centre-half in defence, flanked by two midfielders, in recent games.

To boost their options, Leeds are reported to have made their move for Chelsea’s Tomori.

The centre-half has slipped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, Thiago Silva and Kurt Zouma are installed as Frank Lampard’s first-choice duo. Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger are also options. The Blues can also play Cesar Azpilicueta at centre-half if required.

That has left Tomori kicking his heels. He was the subject of interest from West Ham over the summer, but he opted to reject it and fight for his shirt.

While that decision has backfired, Tomori is not short of transfer admirers. Indeed, Newcastle have also emerged as serious contenders for his signature.

Fabrizio Romano’s Here We Go Podcast via Simon Phillips reported that Chelsea will look to loan out Tomori in January.

And the BBC has now named Leeds as Tomori’s most likely destination.

While nothing is concrete at this stage, the 23-year-old has been tipped to sign on loan until the end of the season and could provide cover for the crocked Koch.

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Drinkwater price set

Chelsea are expected to trim several players from their squad this month following a summer of heavy spending.

The Blues are reported to have put several names up for sale as they look to bring in some cash. Lampard’s side are also said to be considering a January approach of their own for a talented England international.

One of those destined to leave is forgotten midfielder Danny Drinkwater.

The £35m signing from Leicester in 2017 has fallen on hard times in recent years. Having made just 23 appearances for the Blues, he endured a troubled loan spell at Burnley last season.

Now though it seems a move to Germany could be on the cards.

According to German outlet Fussballtransfers.com, Drinkwater’s representatives have contacted Bundesliga clubs to see if there is interest in signing him during this month’s window.

It is claimed that Chelsea would be willing to sell him for just £3.5m – a tenth of the fee they paid the Foxes four years ago.

READ MORE: Chelsea players turn against Lampard for two key failures, report claims