Milan technical director Paolo Maldini said the club are weighing up whether to sign Fikayo Tomori permanently from Premier League giants Chelsea.
Tomori has impressed since arriving on loan in January, the 23-year-old’s impact highlighted by his starting berth at the expense of captain Alessio Romagnoli in Milan’s 2-1 win over Roma on Sunday.
Milan have an option to buy Tomori at the end of the season – the fee reportedly in the region of £25million (€28m).
Asked about Tomori’s future prior to Milan’s Serie A victory away to Roma, Maldini told Sky Sport Italia: “Tomori is a good talent and we have a buy-option clause.
“The price is very high. AC Milan will decide at the end of this season and we will discuss it with Chelsea’s board.”
“Fortunately, I work for a club that has an effect on players. When AC Milan call, the players always listen,” Maldini added.
“Fikayo is a player with particular characteristics, pace and intensity, so we thought he could be a good reinforcement for this second half of the season.
“Naturally, Romagnoli isn’t happy, no player is when he doesn’t play. However, Milan are 17 points better off than last season, we’re second despite having more commitments and many injuries, so squad rotation is necessary and Alessio has played pretty much every game.”
Tomori partnered Simon Kjaer in Milan’s defence as second-placed Milan stayed within four points of leaders Inter after 24 matches.
Franck Kessie and Ante Rebic scored for Milan, while Tomori had an early goal ruled out for offside.
Tomori had a team-high six clearances and two blocks, while he attempted the most passes (60) with an accuracy of 88.3 per cent at the heart of Milan’s defence.
Milan head coach Stefano Pioli hailed Englishman Tomori post-match: “I expected this performance, because Tomori played a derby a couple of days after joining us, so he’s been at this level from the start.
“I still believe it’s the collective that allows the individual to perform and all together we won a very important match.
“Roma have players with a lot of pace and quality in attack, so we knew that we were taking a risk, but we also recovered more balls in the opposition half – finally – and were therefore more dangerous in attack.
“It’s about weighing up the costs and benefits of an approach, and this approach is giving us more benefits.”