Chelsea regret letting Fikayo Tomori depart on loan to Milan, according to reports in Italy.
Tomori emerged as one of Frank Lampard’s go-to centre-backs at the beginning of last season, following a fruitful loan spell at Derby under the Chelsea legend, but over time he has gradually slipped down the pecking order.
This campaign he made just four appearances in all competitions before being shipped out on loan to Milan.
Since arriving in Italy he has impressed, making ten appearances and earning praise from legendary defender and Rossoneri executive Paolo Maldini. Milan have the option to buy Tomori for €28m (£24m) at the end of the season, and Maldini has hinted that they may exercise this clause.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Metro), Tomori’s recent displays against Manchester United, Roma and Napoli have strengthened the club’s resolve to sign him in the summer. Chelsea, meanwhile, are said to ‘already regret’ letting the youth team graduate depart on loan.
Since Thomas Tuchel arrived at Stamford Bridge the Blues have looked solid at the back, however, letting Tomori depart for a nominal fee will do little to dispel their reputation as a club that does not look after its youngsters.
In the past superstars such as Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku have both been allowed to leave at a young age. The Blues will be keen to avoid Tomori being added to the list of players that have slipped through the net, but the inclusion of a buyout clause means their hands are tied.
The 23-year-old will likely feature for Milan when they take on United in their Europa League round of 16 second leg at the San Siro on Thursday. The scores are currently finely poised at 1-1 after the first game, meaning either side could progress.