Everton are close to finalising a deal to sign Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori on a season-long loan.
The 22-year-old was close to joining Rennes but is now in talks over a move to Everton following their failed attempt to bring in Gabriel Magalhaes, who joined Arsenal from Lille in a £27m deal.
Everton have been on a £65m transfer spree, signing three players in the last four days – midfielders Allan from Napoli, James Rodriguez from Real Madrid and Abdoulaye Doucoure from Watford.
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Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti now wants to focus on defensive reinforcements having seen his side struggle defensively and manage only five clean sheets in 21 games since his appointment in December.
Tomori impressed during the first part of Chelsea’s last Premier League season and was called up to the England squad in October before making his senior debut in November.
He signed a new five-year deal in December but later fell out of favour under Frank Lampard and did not play a single minute after the season was resumed in June.
Thiago Silva’s arrival at Stamford Bridge may mean Tomori could be set for even less game time at the club and he may consider leaving in the search for more first-team football ahead of the European Championships next summer.
It could be Tomori’s third loan spell out of Stamford Bridge after his experiences in the Championship at Hull City and Derby County, the latter under current Blues boss Frank Lampard.
Analysis: Chelsea want Tomori to gain experience
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol told The Transfer Show:
“Fikayo Tomori was on loan at Derby when Frank Lampard was the manager, he was the Player of the Season there and really impressive.
“Then he came back to Chelsea when Lampard was appointed last summer and he started the season really well and looked like a real prospect. He got into the England squad and I remember interviewing him when he made his England debut as well and it looked like he had the world at his feet.
“Then for whatever reason behind the scenes at Chelsea, he didn’t play after February and wasn’t in the picture at all. Chelsea have now signed Thiago Silva, which would seem to suggest that his chances going forward would be further limited.
“But having heard Lampard talk about him in such glowing terms before, I would imagine he’s a player that Chelsea still believe in, it’s just that they feel he needs to go out, develop his career and play more regularly before returning to Chelsea.”
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