Chelsea announce £70m Wesley Fofana deal after transfer saga for top defensive target

·2-min read
 (Chelsea FC via Getty Images)
(Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

Chelsea have completed the signing of Wesley Fofana after weeks of talks over their top defensive transfer target.

Thomas Tuchel has been keen to strengthen his defence all summer, with Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella both arriving after Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen left on free transfers.

Last week, Chelsea had a £70million bid accepted by Leicester for Fofana - their fourth approach for the 21-year-old.

A series of add-ons could take the overall fee past the world record paid for a defender, when Manchester United splashed out £80m to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester in 2019.

Personal terms were already settled on a seven-year contract lasting until 2029, with Fofana having trained with his new team-mates for the first time at Cobham on Wednesday morning, following Chelsea’s limp defeat by Southampton.

“The two last days have been really big days for me and I’m very happy,” Fofana said. “I trained this morning with the team and it’s a dream for me. I’m very excited to start playing games for the fans and the club.

“I’m here to win trophies – the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, everything. I came here to win and the club is built to win trophies so I’m here to continue that.”

Chelsea’s summer spending has now tipped past £245m with the deal for Fofana and may not stop there.

Barcelona striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - who recently had his jaw fractured during a terrifying robbbery at his home - and Everton winger Anthony Gordon are also key targets with talks ongoing over deals worth £20m and £60m respectively, though Frank Lampard remains adamant that Gordon is not leaving Goodison Park in this window.

Dinamo Moscow midfielder Arsen Zakharyan is another option with a £12.6m release clause and Chelsea have also been heavily linked with RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol.