Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers insists Wesley Fofana has not submitted a transfer request and is “not for sale” despite Chelsea’s purported interest in the defender.
In fact Thomas Tuchel’s men have shown more than a passing interest in Fofana. They have already seen bids worth £60m and £65m knocked back for Fofana. Leicester are said to be looking for a fee in excess of the £80m that Man Utd paid Leicester for Harry Maguire in 2019.
CBS reporter Ben Jacobs tweeted Chelsea are preparing a third bid worth £72m plus a further £10m in add-ons. But as yet that has not arrived and in fact nothing fresh has arrived from Stanford Bridge in the last 10 days.
And Rodgers does not expect to lose the highly-rated defender before the September 1 deadline.
“I don’t think so far ahead, the idea is that is he is a Leicester City player, ” he said.
“He is not for sale, the club have made that clear, unless anything changes on that I would expect him to be here.
“Currently at this moment there is nothing new and nothing has changed from when we last spoke.”
Reports have claimed Fofana was frustrated with the stance that the Foxes were taking. But the City boss has denied the player has handed in a transfer request.
‘We’re here to help and educate’ Fofana
Asked to clear up the speculation, Rodgers added: “Yes, I can, he hasn’t. He’s a great kid. He’s loved by his team-mates.
“He’s a great personality. He’s still developing. He’s nowhere near the finished article.
“We’ve spoken numbers of times about the whole situation and of course a private conversation. Our communication is normal, and we just continue to prepare for the games.
“It’s a challenge for any player and for clubs around this time when the window is open, and there’s lots of speculation and lots of noise that goes on with it, and especially for a young player – 21 – all the speculation that has surrounded it.
“That’s why we’re here, to help and educate him in dealing with all these rumours. The focus is very much on the team and getting them ready for the weekend.”
Still Chelsea, as per Fabrizio Romano, have an agreement in place with Fofana on a six-year deal.
The ball is now firmly in the court of Chelsea.
No outgoings at Leicester
Meanwhile, Rodgers says there have been no fresh bids for any other players. And that means without any sales he is unable to bring in any new signings.
“There is no denying it, any manager will tell you it’s always a tricky period, your season has started, you’re trying to get focused, you spend summer creating this really powerful collective unit to see you through the season and then through this period there’s speculation,” he said ahead of Saturday’s visit of Southampton.
“You have to remember these are very young guys, for some of them it’s the first time they’ve experienced these situations.
“There can always be disruption but the idea is to keep the group focused. The minute the window shuts it all ends but while we’re in this period it’s challenging.
“Every manager would want to strengthen and I’m no different to the others but if we are unable to do it…concentrate on what you have.
“I have some fantastic players here, a wonderful group,. If we can keep them fit and get luck with injuries I still think we can have a really good season.”
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