Derby County’s hopes of signing Fikayo Tomori on a permanent deal could be squashed by Chelsea’s transfer ban.
According to a report in the BBC, Chelsea have been found guilty of breaching FIFA rules in relation to youth players. Their punishment means the Blues can’t sign anyone for two transfer windows.
Derby have used their links to manager Frank Lampard’s former club Chelsea to good effect this season. They have taken both Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori on loan, with the duo impressing at Pride Park.
Mount received an England call-up earlier in the campaign and has been tipped for big things. Derby’s chances of signing him permanently were always a non-starter.
How Fikayo Tomori has impressed at Derby County:
Tomori, on the other hand, is a more realistic target and the centre-back has become a pivotal figure at the club. The 21-year-old has started 29 Championship games, averaging 2.3 tackles and 4.1 clearances per game.
Tomori and Richard Keogh have struck up an excellent understand. Only three Championship teams have conceded fewer goals than the Rams this season.
Derby lack in other centre-back options, therefore making Tomori their number one transfer target this summer would make a lot of sense. However, their chances of signing him could now be much slimmer.
Chelsea’s transfer ban means the West London club must utilise the players at their current disposal. Right now, the Blues have four centre-back options, but Gary Cahill’s contract expires in the summer. He is expected to leave.
Antonio Rudiger and David Luiz are deemed the first-choice pairing, despite their frailties. Andreas Christensen provides solid back-up. Beyond him, though, are no other natural centre-back options.
Should Cahill leave on a free, Chelsea, with an inability to sign a natural replacement, will be forced to use one of their younger players as fourth-choice and Tomori ultimately stands out as their best option.
The situation leaves Derby in a pickle. Further pressure will be on Lampard to re-shape the squad this summer. Tomori, meanwhile, may be fast-tracked in his bid to become a future star at Stamford Bridge.