Leicester City have rejected a €75million proposal from Chelsea for French defender Wesley Fofana, according to reports.
Fofana is one of the Blues’ top targets this summer as Thomas Tuchel looks to bolster his defensive options ahead of the new season.
They have brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and are close to confirming the signing of Marc Cucurella from Brighton.
It was reported last month that Chelsea agreed personal terms with Leicester centre-half Fofana, despite the Foxes’ unwillingness to sell their star defender.
If Leicester let the 21-year-old leave this summer, they are expected to ask for around £80m.
According to L’Equipe (via Get French Football News), Chelsea have lodged an opening bid for Fofana.
They have put €75m (£62.8m) on the table, but Leicester are not interested in selling for that price.
The proposal was submitted on Wednesday and was ‘immediately rejected’ by the Foxes, who have ‘no intention’ of seeing Chelsea increase their bid.
There is ‘no desire’ at the King Power to let such an ‘indispensable’ player leave the club ahead of the 2022/23 season.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has made Fofana his ‘priority’ between now and the end of the transfer window following the arrival of Koulibaly and the departures of Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger.
Tuchel is ‘convinced’ by the Frenchman’s ‘potential’ despite missing a large chunk of last term after breaking his leg last summer.
Fofana penned a new Foxes contract in March, with his fresh terms lasting until 2027.
Despite this, he ‘wants’ to leave in order to join Chelsea and play Champions League football. They could face competition from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, however, who are ‘surveying the situation’.
Following the reported bid for Fofana, CBS Sports correspondent Ben Jacobs had his say on the situation.
He claims Chelsea are ‘assessing’ whether or not to make an improved offer, noting that the clubs are ‘£20m apart’ in valuation.
While a swap deal has been mentioned, it is believed that Leicester will only change their stance if they receive a large cash offer.
There is a slight interest in Blues winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, but if the Foxes were to make a move for the youngster, it will likely be a separate deal to the Fofana one.
Chelsea face a ‘big challenge’ to bring the young French defender in, with Leicester holding out for at least £80m.