Chelsea have Wesley Fofana transfer fear but may have no other choice to get deal done
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Chelsea fear they may need to spend upwards of £80million to finally prise Wesley Fofana away from Premier League rivals Leicester, reports claim. The Blues earmarked the France under-21 defender as their top centre-back target after missing out on Jules Kounde.
Thomas Tuchel revealed on Friday that he is still keen to sign another central defender before the September 1 transfer deadline. The German has already acquired Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, the latter of whom Tuchel feels can play in a back three.
Chelsea have already seen two bids turned down for Fofana. Leicester head coach Brendan Rodgers insisted that neither offer was anywhere near the Foxes’ valuation, which is believed to be around £85m.
It is a slight blow for the Blues, whose initial valuation for the player was closer to £55m. Chelsea are wary of Fofana having the tag of the world’s most expensive defender – something with which Harry Maguire has struggled at Manchester United.
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That is according to CBS Sports, who claim there is at least now a back and forth between Chelsea and Leicester. That is a boost for the Stamford Bridge outfit, who were initially being told that Fofana would not be for sale at any price.
Tuchel remains adamant that Chelsea sign another defender and will hope that their next offer matches Leicester’s valuation. “We could use one more central defender. If you look at the numbers and that we play with a back three. The profile of the guys in the three is a little bit different, I admit,” the Chelsea head coach said on Friday.
“We can play with Azpi (Cesar Azpilicueta), who is more of a full-back than a central defender. (Marc) Cucurella, it’s possible too [to play on the side of a back three]. Both of them cannot play as the middle central defender. So we could use one more central defender. Let’s see what happens.”
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Meanwhile, Leicester boss Rodgers has insisted that neither of Chelsea’s offers have been anywhere near the club’s valuation.
The Northern Irishman said: “There were two (bids), but nowhere near what the club would even think about. The point to reiterate is that we’re not looking to sell Wesley.
“Naturally if there’s interest from other clubs, that is looked at by the club. He’s a top young defender and there are not too many around of his age. He’s someone we’d love to keep here but we have to wait and see what develops.”
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