With just three appearances to his name so far this season, there has been plenty of speculation regarding the situation of Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori already this month.
The Sun reported on Wednesday that any chance of the 23-year-old leaving on loan during the January transfer window had been squashed by an injury to teammate Andreas Christensen.
But The Athletic now claims that his future remains up the air, albeit acknowledging the Christensen injury.
It suggests that Tomori is “keen” to leave Stamford Bridge on a permanent basis or at the very least on loan.
The report explains that both French club Rennes and Premier League rivals Newcastle United want to sign the centre-back, but any interest from Leeds United is wide of the mark.
Blues academy graduate Tomori may have played very little this campaign, but impressed last season during his first year fully integrated with the senior group.
He’s a highly-rated centre-half recognised for his pace, but Pat Nevin previously pointed out his strength too during the 2019/20 season.
“He’s been absolutely brilliant since he walked into the team. I love this bit of defending here, stays on his feet, really, really strong,” Nevin said (13 December, 2019).
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Reports suggesting Tomori may want to exit permanently are a big concern, as he’s shown so much promise in his brief Chelsea career so far and fans are desperate for more academy graduates to become regulars in the team.
His speed, physicality and hunger helped him succeed during a loan spell at Derby County in the 2018/19 season, as he developed his game when working with Lampard.
The Chelsea boss played him in 22 games across all competitions last season, but he’s fallen to fifth-choice in the pecking order this season.
A loan move for the English talent would be great for the second half of the season, as he’s got too much potential to sell.