AC Milan have reportedly started talks with Chelsea regarding a loan move for Fikayo Tomori, after their primary target, Mohamed Simakan was ruled out of action for two months with a knee injury.
Of course, as it so often happens in the muddled world of transfer rumors and speculation, Chelsea were said to be monitoring Simakan’s situation as well, though as per the latest reports, RB Leipzig are now actually the favorites for the Strasbourg centre back’s signature.
Update Simakan: Leipzig made a strong offer for the player yesterday. Simakan is convinced and will speak to coach Nagelsmann soon. They want him as the new Upamecano. Looks really good, but no final decision: player wants to leave now - Leipzig needs him in July #TransferUpdate pic.twitter.com/tpN0pgMsz1— Max Bielefeld (@Sky_MaxB) January 13, 2021
Leipzig’s interest comes as part of their preparations for Chelsea-linked Dayot Upamecano’s expected departure in the summer, and Simakan apparently features at the top of their wishlist. Simakan’s injury should have no bearing on their interest, since they’re only looking at the 20-year-old as an option for next season, unlike Milan, who are in need of a centre back now.
And so, Milan are pushing forward with their intent to bring in Tomori for at least the next six months. Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claim that the Rossoneri have made serious contacts with the 23-year-old’s entourage, and that Tomori himself is eager to play in Italy and AC Milan would be his preferred destination.
Dans la journée Milan a avancé sur le dossier du prêt du défenseur Tomori, (Chelsea)— Simone Rovera (@SimoneRovera) January 13, 2021
Pour Simakan les négociations n’ont pas avancé comme était prévu. Au contraire Milan semble avoir décidé de prendre du temps et Leipzig pourrait profiter de la situation pour convaincre le joueur
Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) elaborate on the Serie A side’s interest, claiming that while they don’t think Tomori is a “finished product”, they believe that they can help him to reach his potential. He certainly fits the archetype of what Milan are seeking: “a young footballer, with room for growth along with a non-prohibitive salary and a low cost”.
Tomori would take up a “non-EU” spot thanks to Brexit, but that apparently wouldn’t be a problem. However, what should be concerning about this potential transfer is the amount of playing time that Tomori will get, arriving as a backup to the preferred first-choice pairing of Simon Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli.
As Lampard said in his press conference today, the entire idea of a loan would be to further the player’s development.
“He absolutely has a long-term future [at Chelsea]. We will see if and when he goes out on loan. [...] There is a long-term plan for Fikayo in my head about his career here. And if he goes out on loan it will be to enhance his personal development, hopefully help the team he goes to, and come back as a better player.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London