Chelsea ‘work on deals’ for £84.5m duo as Tuchel ‘insists’ on improved Fofana bid

Date published: Monday 8th August 2022 11:48 - Will Ford

Reported Chelsea target Wesley Fofana during a match

Thomas Tuchel is reportedly ‘insisting on another bid for Wesley Fofana’, with Chelsea said to be £10m short of Leicester’s valuation for the centre-back.

Tuchel is looking to bolster his defence before the close of the transfer window and Fofana has emerged as his top target.

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Reports suggest Chelsea have had two bids of £63m and just over £70m turned down and are preparing a third.

The 21-year-old is said to be keen on a move to Stamford Bridge and the Independent claim the Blues are £10m short of agreeing a deal, suggesting a bid of around £80m would be enough to persuade he Foxes to part with their prized asset.

Brendan Rodgers has said Fofana, like James Maddison, is not for sale, but sources close to the club claim the financical strife they find themselves in means one of the two will likely have to leave.

Tuchel is ‘insisting’ on an improved bid to get the deal done, while the report claims Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is also ‘working on deals for Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’.

Manchester United agreed a £71m fee with Barcelona for De Jong last month, but the midfielder has dug his heels in over his deferred salary and reticence to leave the Nou Camp for Old Trafford.

On Sunday, Barcelona president Joan Laporta reiterated a desire to keep De Jong and the player’s desire to stay at the club.

Laporta said: “Frenkie de Jong is a Barcelona player of great quality and we want him to stay. With him and his teammates, we have a very powerful midfield.

“He has offers, but we want him to stay and he wants to stay too.”

But multiple reports have suggested that if De Jong does end up leaving the Nou Camp, Chelsea would be his preferred destination, and Blues chiefs are still said to be in talks with the Dutchman’s representatives.

And Aubameyang –  valued at £13.5m by Transfermarkt – emerged as a target last week as Tuchel looks to bring a striker in to lead the line and score the goals that have been hard to come by for too long.

Tuchel spoke of the need for Chelsea to bring in young talent like Fofana after their 1-0 win over Everton on Saturday, a game in which his back three of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and new signing Kalidou Koulibaly had a combined age of 100.

“Azpi is the legend that he is, Thiago is in the moment still very important to us and when we had the chance to sign Kalidou we did it because we believe that he has some years ahead of him,” the German boss said.

“But in general it is the fact that like the goalkeeper and the double sixes are in their thirties, and that is just what it is. Pace is an issue and speed is an issue. In all signings, this is the demand of the game that you can play one on ones, that you can defend space if needed with high-speed runs.

“It is a lot of experience, it is maybe another of age – it is a lot of experience and they have their quality and they know what they are doing. We also need to make sure we have a new generation to take over in the next years but the guys are strong that is why they are under contract and the guys have our trust.

“There needs to be [balance]. I think it is necessary. The game in general is very physical and demands a lot. This is the situation. We knew it before.”

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