Wesley Fofana celebrates after scoring for Leicester against Rennes

Wesley Fofana: Chelsea working on deal to sign Leicester City central defender

Chelsea are working on a deal to sign Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana.

Leicester’s asking price could be prohibitive, with reports suggesting they could demand up to £85m, given Fofana has five years left on his contract.

The France U21 international signed a two-year contract extension with Leicester in March, which keeps him at the King Power Stadium until 2027.

It is thought Chelsea are exploring a deal which would involve players as part of the offer.

Chelsea have signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli and have made attempts to bring in Manchester City’s Nathan Ake and Sevilla’s Jules Kounde following the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Wesley Fofana only played 630 minutes in the Premier League last season due to injuries, but, per 90 minutes, the centre-back ranked fifth in the league for recoveries in the defensive third and 15th for passes completed

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, has admitted he is a “little bit” annoyed with Barcelona over their pursuit of Cesar Azpilicueta.

Chelsea's head coach Thomas Tuchel, left, greets Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta at the end of the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Leicester City at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Thursday, May 19, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The 32-year-old has 12 months remaining on his Chelsea contract and has reportedly asked to leave the club after a decade at Stamford Bridge to return to his native Spain.

But Tuchel says he is not sure if he wants to give Azpilicueta “what he wants”, and believes Barca have undervalued the defender, comparing his value to that of recent Chelsea capture Kalidou Koulibaly, who signed for £33m from Napoli earlier this month.

When asked at the Universal Orlando Resort if he was annoyed by the Spanish giants’ pursuit of Azpilicueta, Tuchel replied: “Maybe a little bit.”

Asked about the Spaniard’s future, Tuchel said: “It’s a tough question because I am not sure if I want to give Azpi what he wants.

“At some point it is about what we want. I just made the comparison about how much we fought for Koulibaly, who is a national team player and roughly the same age.

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Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher is hoping to play an important role for Thomas Tuchel’s side this season, after a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace

“He is a hugely important player for Napoli but we have a Spanish international who is the captain at Chelsea. I see him maybe at the same level but Barcelona don’t see him on that level. So I am not sure if I want to give him what he wants as he is a huge player.”

Rodgers plays down Maddison exit talk after Newcastle bid

James Maddison provided Leicester's creative spark
James Maddison provided Leicester’s creative spark

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has played down the idea of James Maddison leaving the club this summer.

Sky Sports News reported on Saturday that the Foxes had rejected a £40m bid from Newcastle.

Asked about the offer, Rodgers told BBC Radio Leicester: “He’s still very much a player here. You see his performance, you see how happy he is and he’s not a player we want to sell.

“It’s not for me to put valuations on the players, it’s not my side, but that might just cover three-quarters of his left leg, that price. He’s a top player.”

Rodgers also appeared to open the door for goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to leave the club, amid reported interest from French club Nice.

Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel has been linked with a move away from Leicester

He said: “There is nothing I’m aware of – a little bit of interest over the summer.

“Kasper has earned the right to think about the next chapter of his career and where he’ll be.”

Pereira’s Achilles injury ‘doesn’t look good’

Ricardo Pereira tangles with Gabriel Martinelli
Ricardo Pereira has suffered an Achilles injury ahead of the new season

Rodgers says Ricardo Pereira has suffered an Achilles injury that “doesn’t look good” ahead of the Premier League opener next weekend.

After Pereira came off in the friendly win over Sevilla on Sunday, Rodgers told BBC Radio Leicester: “We’re disappointed with Rickie coming off. It doesn’t look good but we’ll see how it is.

“We had an awful injury here last year which set us back. So we are hoping it might not be as bad, but it doesn’t look good.”

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Who will be on the move this summer before the transfer window closes at 11pm on September 1.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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