Chelsea turn to Premier League defender, but will need to cough up ‘at least £70m’

Jason Soutar
Reported Chelsea target Wesley Fofana during a match

Chelsea are reportedly interested in signing Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana as they continue their strenuous search for a new centre-half.

The Blues are on the search for at least one new central defender following Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger’s departures.

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They have already brought in Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for around £34milion, but another defensive addition is on the agenda, especially given Barcelona’s reported interest in Cesar Azpilicueta.

Sevilla’s Jules Kounde re-emerged as a top target, however, Barca are currently in the process of hijacking Chelsea’s deal to sign him.

This will be the second time this summer that the Catalan club have signed a player who looked bound to move to Stamford Bridge.

The other player was, of course, Raphinha, who joined Barca from Leeds United for around £55m after the Whites accepted a bid from their Premier League rivals.

Chelsea have also been linked with RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol and Paris Saint-Germain’s Presnel Kimpembe. Both players are left-footed, which appears to be the type of profile the Blues are looking at.

Kimpembe and Gvardiol will not be cheap, with PSG expected to ask for a fee in the region of £60m for their player, meanwhile, Gvardiol has four years left on his Leipzig – who are not desperate to raise funds – contract.

Another left-footed central defender the Blues registered an interest in signing was Manchester City’s Nathan Ake, however, the Dutchman is highly unlikely to move in the summer transfer window.

With Kounde’s move to Barcelona reportedly imminent, it has been widely reported that Chelsea will turn to his compatriot, Fofana.

Sky Sports have reported that Thomas Tuchel’s side are ‘interested’ in signing the Leicester defender.

Although Fofana would be a terrific signing and should have been further up in Tuchel’s shortlist, it is understandable that Chelsea would not pursue a move due to the Foxes’ expected asking price.

The 21-year-old signed a new contract last March. His current deal lasts until 2027.

On Tuesday evening, CBS Sports correspondent Ben Jacobs revealed that Leicester ‘won’t entertain offers below £70m’.

Unsurprisingly, manager Brendan Rodgers ‘doesn’t want to lose’ Fofana, meaning that an exit this summer would prove ‘extremely difficult’.

Leicester are yet to receive a bid for the young defender, though it remains to be seen if he will try and push for a move to Stamford Bridge if they make an approach.