Chelsea’s stance on centre-back who is first-choice target for Premier League side

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According to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Everton have identified Chelsea ace Fikayo Tomori as their prime centre-back target.

The Blues however are not willing to loan out Tomori – who is just starting to win back a spot in the first-team after a rough patch – with Frank Lampard’s side instead looking to part with Antonio Rudiger.

Everton are in need of a reinforcement in central defence with Mason Holgate and Jarrad Branthwaite both currently sidelined with injuries, leaving Yerry Mina and Michael Keane as the only options.

The Telegraph report that an exit for Rudiger before the transfer window closes is now likely after the Germany international was left out of the squad for the Carabao Cup tie against Barnsley.

There’s certainly some conflicting reports regarding Everton’s interest in Tomori, the Athletic’s David Ornstein only claimed on Monday that the Toffees had cooled their interest in the ace, whilst explicitly suggesting that the England international was not their first-choice.

After an encouraging start with Chelsea’s first-team at the start of last season, Tomori fell out of favour at the turn of the year and has only now come back into the picture.

Andreas Christensen’s red card against Liverpool called the England international into action, Tomori impressed and was subsequently handed his fifth outing of the calendar year as he partnered Thiago Silva on his debut in the emphatic win against Barnsley.

Tomori is just one moving piece in quite the transfer merry-go-round, as Everton have now been forced into an offer for Barcelona’s Jean-Clair Todibo – with the terms of the Frenchman’s exit directly tied to the potential swoop for Manchester City’s Eric Garcia.

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