Chelsea and AC Milan have both announced that Blues defender Fikayo Tomori has joined the Serie A club on loan until the end of the season.
Milan’s statement on their official website also confirmed that the Rossoneri can make the deal permanent.
While neither club named the price of the buyout clause, The Guardian says that it stands at £25million.
Tomori, who played on loan at Derby under Frank Lampard‘s management, followed the coach back to Stamford Bridge in 2019.
What’s more, Chelsea’s transfer ban meant that he played a key role in Lampard’s first season. Indeed, the Englishman played 22 times in all competitions and made his Three Lions debut in November 2019.
However, Thiago Silva’s summer arrival at Chelsea pushed Tomori further down the Stamford Bridge pecking order.
Kurt Zouma, Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen are all also ahead of him this season.
The Canada-born defender opted to stay and fight for a first-team place before the start of the campaign; he had an offer from West Ham.
However, he has now grasped the chance of a big loan move to Italy. Title-chasing Milan will offer Tomori a big chance to assert his top-level credentials.
The Rossoneri sit three points clear of Milan rivals Inter in the Serie A table after 18 games.
Despite his temporary departure from west London, boss Lampard has insisted that Tomori still has a “long-term future” with the Blues.
Lampard offers Tomori backing despite exit
Speaking in a press conference prior to Friday evening’s announcement of the deal, Lampard explained why Tomori has struggled for match minutes this season.
“Because I have five centre backs and I can’t do this job and expect to please every fan, that’s football,” he said (via football.london).
“What players you should pick or not and when you are searching for consistency, or going on an unbeaten run there were questions. I have to pick two at a time and the numbers don’t always add up.
“Fikayo is a developing player, a very good player, I have seen him rise from arriving at Derby when he was quite a quiet lad to being one of the best defenders in the Championship and a Chelsea and England regular so I think his journey has been great.
“His next step, whether it is on loan or not, he is going to be a top player.”
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