By Wayne Veysey
Everton had reached an agreement in principle with Chelsea to sign Fikayo Tomori on loan before the plug was pulled when David Luiz joined Arsenal, Football Insider understands.
A deal was in place last month for the 21-year-old to spend the campaign at Goodison Park as a replacement for his Blues colleague Kurt Zouma, who had a successful spell there last season.
An Everton source has told Football Insider the transfer was scrapped at the eleventh hour as David Luiz sealed a hastily-arranged £8million move to Arsenal that was finalised on the last day of the Premier League window.
It was a major blow to Everton, who were in the market for a new centre-back up until deadline day but could not push a deal over the finish line.
It leaves them with just first choice pair Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as the senior centre-backs, along with the versatile Mason Holgate, who spent last season on loan at West Brom playing predominantly at right-back.
Tomori has made just three senior Chelsea appearances, although he did start in central defence alongside Zouma in last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Sheffield United.
He made 55 appearances for Derby County under Frank Lampard last season, a remarkable 54 of which were starts, as he won the club’s player of the season award.
Tomori is fighting with Zouma, Andreas Christensen and the injured Antonio Rudiger for a regular starting spot at Chelsea.