ITALIAN Serie A side Torino looks set to trigger Chelsea fullback Ola Aina’s £9m release clause in the summer in a bid to sign him permanently after being impressed with his performance this season while on loan.
Aina, 22, a right fullback who has worked his way into the Super Eagles team and looks set to feature for Nigeria in the African Cup of Nations taking place in Egypt this summer is a Chelsea player who came through the team’s youth ranks. He joined Chelsea as an 11-year old and has featured for the England youth teams right through from the under 16 to under 20 squads.
In 2017, Aina pledged his international future to the Super Eagles and obtained a Nigerian passport that enabled him to play in several friendlies and one World Cup qualifier. Although originally part of the provisional 30-man squad that prepared for the 2018 World Cup, Aina did not make the final 23 that went to the tournament in Russia.
After the World Cup, however, his career has taken off with a blossom as he has shone like a thousand stars since joining Torino on loan from Chelsea during the course of this season. Impressed with his performance, Torino are now looking to sign him up on a permanent deal and look set to open up talks with Chelsea soon.
A Chelsea spokesman said: “We just need to make sure we have a buyback clause included in his contract. For now we are covered at left back, with both Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri on newly signed contracts but in a couple of seasons’ time we will be looking to shift at least one of them and being able to welcome back a fully developed, home-grown defender would be a dream.
“Aina’s ability to play on either side makes him the perfect squad player too. So, if we must sell him not including a return clause in his contract would be truly unacceptable.”