NEWCASTLE UNITED’S hopes of securing a loan deal for Fikayo Tomori have received a boost after Frank Lampard strongly hinted the centre-half will be allowed to leave Chelsea this month.

Newcastle officials have spoken to the Stamford Bridge hierarchy about Tomori, with Steve Bruce keen to add the England international to his defensive ranks for the second half of the season.

Lampard insists that Tomori, who has also been linked with Leeds United and AC Milan, has a long-term future with Chelsea.

However, with the 23-year-old having made just four first-team appearances this season, the Blues boss also accepts the defender could benefit from a temporary switch away from West London.

“Fikayo Tomori absolutely has a long-term future at this club, and we’ll see if and when he goes on loan,” said Lampard. “The moment I got close to Fikayo was when I took him to Derby with me and he was player of the year there and one of the best players in the Championship that year in my opinion.

“And then he came back and played 20-plus games for us at a very young age last year and got in the England squad. There’s an absolute long-term plan for Fikayo in my head about his career here.

“And if it’s to go and play games it’s to absolutely enhance his personal development. Hopefully, help whatever team he goes to, because that will come hand in hand, and then come back to us a better player.”

At the start of the month, Lampard hinted he would not allow Tomori to leave on loan as he needed him as cover in his own squad.

However, with Reece James and Andreas Christensen both due to return to the Chelsea squad for tomorrow’s game with Fulham after recovering from injury, Tomori once again finds himself surplus to requirements.

Newcastle’s defensive resources have been stretched in recent weeks, with Jamaal Lascelles and Paul Dummett both struggling to stay fit after Covid and injury issues respectively.