Fikayo Tomori: AC Milan in talks to sign Chelsea defender & Mario Mandzukic

By Alistair Magowan and Alex HowellBBC Sport
Fikayo Tomori
Tomori made 15 Premier League appearances for Chelsea in 2019-20, but has only featured once in the league this season

AC Milan are in talks to sign Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori on loan, with former Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic also set to join the Serie A leaders.

The deal could include an option for Milan to buy Tomori, who won his sole full England cap in November 2019.

The 23-year-old academy graduate has fallen out of favour at Chelsea this season, only making four appearances.

Mandzukic, 34, who has been a free agent since July, is understood to be close to joining the Serie A side.

Tomori nearly joined West Ham in October, but wanted to stay at Chelsea and fight for his place.

However, his only two starts this season came in the Carabao Cup, with one substitute appearance in the Premier League and one in the FA Cup.

"Fikayo is a developing player, we had four centre-backs last year, you can't play four in a game but you try to find consistency of selection," said Chelsea boss Frank Lampard.

"This year we have five centre-backs so the predicament is difficult for the centre-backs who are not playing regularly and that's why he may go out on loan for his development.

"He's a young player, his development has been a huge rise in the last two or so seasons since I've been working with him and that will continue - we'll find the best path for that."

Tomori signed a five-year deal with Chelsea in December 2019, soon after his England debut as an 84th-minute substitute against Kosovo - having switched his international allegiance after representing his native Canada at Under-20 level.

At that point he was a regular in Lampard's side, having also played under the Chelsea boss while he was on loan at Derby the previous season.

But he fell out of favour in the second half of last season, while competition for places at centre-back has increased since the arrival of Thiago Silva in August.

Meanwhile, Mandzukic is set to have a medical in Milan before joining the Serie A leaders.

The Croatia international has been without a club since leaving Qatari club Al Duhail last summer.

Mandzukic, a Champions League winner with Bayern Munich in 2013, helped Juventus to four Serie A titles between 2015 and 2019, and played in the 2018 World Cup final.

The former Atletico Madrid forward will sign a short-term deal that could be extended.

Milan, who travel to Cagliari on Monday, are level on points with city rivals Inter Milan at the top of Serie A with a game in hand.

They have already signed French midfielder Soualiho Meite, 26, from Torino on a loan deal with an option to buy during the current transfer window.

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