Brendan Rodgers is expected to leave Wesley Fofana out of Leicester’s squad to face Southampton after the Chelsea target asked not to be involved.
Fofana has been unsettled by Chelsea’s pursuit of him and he is keen to move to Stamford Bridge. The 21-year-old has made his wishes clear to Leicester, who have already rejected two bids for him, and the situation is set to impact Rodgers’s selection when his side host Southampton.
The onus will now be on Chelsea to come up with a figure that convinces Leicester to sell. Thomas Tuchel wants to sign one more defender after losing Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rüdiger earlier this summer, but Chelsea may need to make Fofana the most expensive defender in the world. Leicester do not want to lose Fofana and are holding out for over £80m.
Sources believe that Chelsea, who have already strengthened their defence by signing Marc Cucurella and Kalidou Koulibaly, will match Leicester’s valuation before the window shuts. Trevoh Chalobah is expected to leave on loan if Fofana is signed. Chelsea will look to other defensive targets if they cannot prise the Frenchman away from Leicester.
Fofana has shone since joining Leicester from Saint-Étienne two years ago and has impressed following his return from a broken leg in March. He recently signed a new five-year deal, but Chelsea’s interest has complicated matters.
Leicester could find it hard to resist if Chelsea offer more than £80m. The club are experiencing financial difficulties and have only signed one first-team player this summer, bringing in the former Huddersfield goalkeeper Alex Smithies on a free transfers. Rodgers needs to raise funds through sales – Leicester have also rejected offers from Newcastle for James Maddison – but moving on unwanted players is proving a challenge.
Chelsea are also pushing to bring in a new striker, with discussions ongoing with Barcelona over a deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The former Arsenal striker is open to moving back to London.