Chelsea are growing increasingly confident that they will be able to strike a deal to sign Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana, 90min understands.
The Blues have already struck deals for Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella this summer but are keen to add one more central defender, with Fofana now sitting comfortably at the top of their wish list.
Leicester have publicly ruled out a sale but 90min understands the Foxes would be prepared to do business if Chelsea lodged a bid worth around £80m.
Chelsea’s latest offer was worth £70m, which Leicester knocked back, but sources close to the negotiations have revealed there is a confidence from the Blues that a total agreement is not far from being reached.
The feeling is that Leicester will succeed in holding out for their price tag of over £80m. Chelsea have tried to negotiate a discount by offering players in exchange but the Foxes are holding firm and would prefer a cash-only deal as it stands.
With just £10m between the two sides and Fofana understood to be keen on making the move to Stamford Bridge, Chelsea are optimistic about their chances of getting a deal done.
Negotiations remain ongoing with Fofana, and alongside the defender, Chelsea are also keen to bring in another right-back to provide competition for Reece James this season.
Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Sean Walsh bring you Talking Transfers, discussing Chelsea’s plans to sign Wesley Fofana. There’s the latest on James Maddison, Jamie Vardy, Cristiano Ronaldo and Frenkie de Jong, and chat on Diogo Jota’s new deal and Roberto Firmino’s Liverpool future. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
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Veteran defender Cesar Azpilicueta has committed to staying at Chelsea but recently spoke of his struggles in playing as Thomas Tuchel’s wing-back – a role which the 32-year-old found to be too physically demanding.
Inter’s Denzel Dumfries remains Chelsea’s preferred option for the role but concerns over the Dutchman’s price tag has seen them enquire about Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters as well.
In the departures column, Malang Sarr is in Monaco for a medical ahead of a season-long loan which includes an obligation to buy if the centre-back makes a certain number of appearances.
Forward Timo Werner has also returned to Leipzig to put the finishing touches on a permanent move back to his former employers.