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AC Milan sign Tomori on loan from Chelsea with £26m option to buy

18:28 GMT 22/01/2021
Fikayo Tomori Chelsea AC Milan GFX
The 23-year-old defender will join Stefano Pioli's side in their Serie A title challenge after coming through the Blues' youth academy

AC Milan have completed the signing of Fikayo Tomori on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season.

The centre-back has struggled for regular game time at Stamford Bridge this campaign, and moves to the Serie A leaders as they aim to end Juventus' dominance of the Italian domestic league.

Tomori heads to San Siro until at least the end of the 2020-21 campaign, with a €30 million (£26m/$36.5m) option included if Milan wish to buy the England international defender in the summer.

Why does the Tomori signing matter?

Tomori impressed for Chelsea last season, making 22 appearances in all competitions and starting regularly for Frank Lampard's side in the first half of the season, as well as making his England senior debut in November 2019, before a hip injury saw him lose his place towards the end of the campaign.

The 23-year-old has remained on the fringes of the Chelsea first team this season, making only four appearances in all competitions. His only Premier League outing came on September 20, when he came on as a half-time substitute during the 2-0 defeat to Liverpool.

Tomori will hope the move to Milan gives him more regular game time at a high level, as he aims to earn a spot in Gareth Southgate's England squad at the rearranged European Championship this summer.

When will Tomori make his AC Milan debut?

Milan manager Stefano Pioli could throw Tomori straight into first-team action on Saturday when the Rossoneri face Atalanta at home in Serie A - however the Canadian-born defender's first game in Italy could be against his new side's deadly rivals.

Inter face Milan in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals on Tuesday, meaning Tomori may well find himself thrown in at the deep end of one of Italian football's prestige fixtures.

Their subsequent Serie A fixture is away to Bologna on January 30, with Milan currently leading second-placed Inter by three points - and champions Juventus by 10 - as they seek their first domestic title since 2010-11.

Will Tomori go straight into the Milan side?

Pioli needed defensive reinforcements at Milan, despite their strong standing in the league, following injuries to Simon Kjaer and Matteo Gabbia.

Captain Alessio Romagnoli is an automatic pick when fit in central defence, however, Tomori will be hoping to play ahead of Mateo Musacchio in the other centre-back role in Pioli's 4-2-3-1 formation.

Tomori has a clearer path to the first team than at Chelsea, where Kurt Zouma, Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Thiago Silva have moved ahead of him in the pecking order.

What has been said?

AC Milan sporting director Paolo Maldini has confirmed the club have been trailing Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori since the summer.

“There is a big difference between almost signed and signed,” Maldini told Sky Sport Italia when asked about the move for Tomori. “It's a creative market. 

“If we followed him and tried to sign him a few months ago, in the summer, it means that we have glimpsed the right characteristics in him to coexist with our defenders."

Further reading

Lampard explains decision to offload Tomori (Jan 18)

‘Rudiger isn’t good enough to play for Chelsea’ – Schwarzer surprised Tomori is seeing AC Milan move sanctioned (Jan 21)

Chelsea's January transfer targets: Rice, Alaba and the names on Lampard's wishlist (Dec 31, 2020)