Athletic: West Ham snub and Maldini’s call – Chelsea’s Tomori ‘could become a champion’ at Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

Fikayo Tomori is making up for lost time after a difficult few months at Chelsea and could become a future pillar of AC Milan.

The Rossoneri signed Tomori on loan with an option to buy set at either €28m or €30m depending on which source you believe, and so far the Englishman has impressed in his handful of appearances, having made his debut in the Coppa Italia derby against Inter.

According to The Athletic, Tomori only became a priority target for Milan in January but they had been scouting him for some time, evening during his time in the Championship where he played under Frank Lampard’s vibrant Derby County side in 2018-19.

Strasbourg’s Mohamed Simakan and the now-Liverpool man Ozan Kabak were the other targets, but once they sensed an opening regarding Tomori they accelerated, led by technical director Paolo Maldini.

One phone call from Maldini was all it took for him to convince Tomori, who had rejected advances from West Ham and other clubs in England in search of the right opportunity. Other clubs in Europe had signalled their interest in getting him on loan including French club Rennes, but the chance to ‘challenge himself in a totally different football environment was too strong to resist’ as per the report.

The 23-year-old has ‘backed himself to make the adjustment’ as he is a ‘smart, strong-willed and open-minded young man’. He has begun learning Italian on arrival and is fully focused on ‘making as significant a contribution as possible to Milan’s bid to return to the Champions League’.

His big dream is getting in the England squad in time for the delayed Euro 2020. Regarding the deal, Milan have an option to buy Tomori for £25m, plus £5m in add-ons (so a possible €32m total) and Chelsea’s best hope is that the fee is deemed too high.

“Tomori isn’t thinking that far ahead. After a nightmare 2020, he’s more focused on making up for lost time,” the report concludes.

Tags AC Milan Fikayo Tomori
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