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Leeds United expressed an interest in Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori but the Stamford Bridge bench-warmer is expected to join Rennes instead, as reported by talkSPORT.

With Marcelo Bielsa’s side conceding from a set-piece for the eighth time this season during their 5-2 thumping of Newcastle at Elland Road, the return of Robin Koch cannot come soon enough.

Ciaran Clark was left in glorious isolation inside the hosts’ penalty area to head home on Wednesday night, less than a week after Tomas Soucek and Angelo Ogbonna scored from corners in the 2-1 defeat to West Ham United.

RATING Your Previous Manager’s LAST Signing

RATING Your Previous Manager’s LAST Signing

Koch’s injury-enforced absence serves to shine a light on an already well-publicised Achilles heel.

Luke Ayling has done a respectable job at centre-half but the converted right-back lacks the aerial presence to dominate spring-heeled opponents.

As a result, it would be no surprise if Leeds attempted to add some height to their vulnerable back-line in the January transfer window.

According to talkSPORT, 6ft 1ins England international Tomori will not be swapping West London for West Yorkshire any time soon, with Chelsea set to send the technically-gifted 22-year-old to France instead.

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Rennes, who qualified for the Champions League last season but have struggled this time round, sold goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to Chelsea over the summer and now stand to benefit from a mutual respect between the two sides with a short-term loan deal for Tomori.

The Mirror (19 May 2019, page 66) believe Chelsea value Tomori at a minimum of £10 million, with Joe Cole comparing the youngster to former Blues hero William Gallas.

But, given Bielsa’s remarkable track record when it comes to turning young gems into diamonds, there is an argument to be made that Leeds would be the ideal destination for Tomori to hone his talents.

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In other news, Report: Manchester City have already made up their mind on Jack Harrison’s future