Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana has allegedly told the Foxes that he wants to move to Chelsea this summer.
The 21-year-old is believed to have been the subject of two offers from the Blues, one of which would have seen Thomas Tuchel‘s side fork out as much as £70m.
However, Brendan Rodgers‘s side have rebuffed Chelsea’s attempts to sign Fofana, who only signed a new deal at the King Power until 2027 back in March.
The former Saint-Etienne youngster supposedly feels that Leicester are now pricing him out of a move to Chelsea, where he would be able to experience Champions League football.
Now, The Guardian reports that Fofana has now informed Leicester of his desire to sign for Chelsea, but a world-record fee will likely be required for his signature.
Leicester sold Harry Maguire to Manchester United for an £80m fee in 2019, and the Red Devils captain still holds the record of being the most expensive defender of all time.
The Foxes would ideally be looking to eclipse that with an £85m package for Fofana, but the report adds that Chelsea could eventually be willing to bow to Leicester’s demands.
However, Tuchel’s side are still concerned about Fofana’s fitness after the Frenchman missed the majority of the 2021-22 season with a fibula fracture sustained in a pre-season friendly.
Fofana made 12 appearances for Leicester towards the end of the season – scoring once – and he has played the full 90 in both of the Foxes’ opening Premier League games so far this term.
Rodgers has frequently announced his desire to keep the 6ft 3in defender on the books at the King Power, claiming that at least one more year at the club would do him the world of good for his development.
“Naturally, if there is interest from another club, that is looked at by the club,” Rodgers told Sky Sports News after Saturday’s 4-2 defeat to Arsenal. “He’s a top young defender and there are not too many around his age.
“Another year here for him at least would be really important for his development, but he is quite calm and relaxed in the situation. He is aware of the interest. He understands where we are as a club and where we see him.”
Fofana has registered one goal and one assist in 52 outings for Leicester in all competitions and was part of the Foxes backline that quelled Chelsea in the 2020-21 FA Cup final.
Chelsea have already signed Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella to bolster their defence this summer, with the former scoring his first goal for the club in Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
The Blues will aim to continue their unbeaten start to the season when they travel to Leeds United on Sunday, but Tuchel is set to serve a touchline ban following his scuffle with Antonio Conte and subsequent red card in the London derby.