Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori is poised to join fellow Premier League side Everton on a season-long loan deal.
The 22-year-old centre-half had a breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge in 2019-20 and was a regular in the side under new boss Frank Lampard for the first half of the campaign.
He made a total of 22 club appearances last term, but only played three times for the Blues in 2020.
And with experienced Brazilian centre-half Thiago Silva arriving and Antonio Rudiger, Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen already at the club, Lampard has plenty of defensive options.
Tomori, who excelled playing for Lampard while on loan with Championship side Derby County in the 2018-19 campaign, also made his international debut last season, coming on as a late substitute in the 4-0 win over Kosovo in November.
Everton’s former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti has had a busy summer in the transfer market with James Rodriguez joining from Real Madrid, Abdoulaye Doucoure moving from Watford and another midfielder, Allan, signing from Napoli.
But the Italian is keen to strengthen his defence and Tomori is expected to follow the example of Zouma in moving to the Goodison Park club, the Frenchman having spent a season on loan with the Toffees in 2018-19.
Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol told The Transfer Show that Chelsea felt they needed to ensure Tomori’s development continued with more first-team football.
He said: “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.”