By Wayne Veysey
Aston Villa have made an approach to sign Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori as they step up plans to strengthen for their Premier League return, Football Insider understands.
The 21-year-old has returned to his parent club after completing an impressive season on loan at Derby County, who lost to Villa in the play-off final.
A Villa source has told Football Insider that the club have shortlisted Tomori as a centre-back target and made an enquiry to Chelsea about his availability.
The Blues are open to cashing in on the academy product amid doubts about his stature and ability to dominate at Champions League and elite Premier League club.
The source said they will sell Tomori if their £12million asking price is met this summer, although they are reluctant to loan him out for another season.
Villa face competition for Tomori from clubs in Germany and Italy, as well as those in England, after his stock rose following his pivotal role in Derby’s promotion bid.
Tomori, who has made just one senior Chelsea appearance, made 55 appearances for Derby in the recent campaign, a remarkable 54 of which were starts.
Villa are in the market for at least one, and most likely two, centre-backs after 2018-19 loanees Tyrone Mings and Axel Tuanzebe returned to their parent clubs.
In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club are plotting a move to sign a Chelsea player available for FREE.