Newcastle interested in Fikayo Tomori but face competition for Chelsea centre-back

Matt Law
·3-min read
Fikayo Tomori - Chelsea centre-back Fikayo Tomori linked with Newcastle United - GETTY IMAGES
Fikayo Tomori - Chelsea centre-back Fikayo Tomori linked with Newcastle United - GETTY IMAGES

Newcastle United are considering making a January loan move for Fikayo Tomori, but are likely to face competition for the Chelsea defender from at least one top European club.

Tomori turned down a loan move to West Ham United on the final day of the summer window and has not played for Chelsea since.

The 22-year-old was one of Chelsea’s stand-out academy graduates during the first half of last season, but injuries disrupted the second half of his campaign during which he lost his place in Frank Lampard’s team.

Tomori, who also made his England debut last season, was still part of Lampard’s first-team squads at the start of the season, when Antonio Rudiger was frozen out.

But Rudiger’s return to the substitutes’ bench has meant that Tomori has not been part of Lampard’s squads and is almost certain to head out on loan.

Everton had all-but agreed a loan deal for Tomori in the summer, but eventually signed Ben Godfrey while they waited to find out whether or not Chelsea would allow the player to move.

Tomori turned down West Ham because of the rushed nature of their interest and lack of guarantees over playing time.

Newcastle have now emerged as the latest Premier League club to show a strong interest in Tomori ahead of next month’s transfer window.

Chelsea have a good relationship with Newcastle, having sent players on loan there in the past, and also trust manager Steve Bruce who did a good job with Tammy Abraham at Aston Villa until he was sacked.

But Newcastle could face stiff competition from overseas, as Telegraph Sport understands there is at least one top European club showing an interest in Tomori.

It is currently unclear whether or not Tomori has a preference between remaining in the Premier League or moving on loan abroad and he is sure to assess all of his options carefully.

Matt Law's Chelsea briefing
Matt Law's Chelsea briefing

He would be able to take advice from Abraham over what Bruce is like to work under, while Mason Mount, who spent a successful year at Vitesse Arnhem, would no doubt be able to give guidance over what a move abroad would entail.

Other than sorting out Tomori’s short-term future, Chelsea could also face a big decision over midfielder Billy Gilmour in January. Lampard is a huge fan of the 19-year-old and would no doubt prefer to keep him around Chelsea’s first-team squad.

The midfielder is part of the Chelsea squad travelling to Spain for the Champions League group game against Sevilla in which Lampard hopes to give Gilmour some valuable minutes.

But, having missed the start of the campaign after needing surgery on a knee injury sustained towards the end of last season, Gilmour is keen to start playing regular minutes to try to make a late run for Scotland’s squad for the European Championships.

“Billy’s fit now,” said Lampard. “He could do with some more match minutes which are difficult to get in these Covid times behind the scenes because of the way the bubbles are here at Cobham. He is in the squad for the Sevilla game.

“I see him coming back to the level he was at before he got injured. He made a great impact and there’ll be so much more to come from him. He has a great attitude and is looking spot on. He comes in to compete in the squad with the other players.”

Chelsea and Lampard are unlikely to make a decision on whether or not Gilmour would be allowed to go out on loan until January, when the form and fitness of all the midfielders can be properly assessed.

Sports Briefing
Sports Briefing