Chelsea fans are not in a good mental place right now. They have sat hopelessly while being forced to watch Barcelona hijack two of their side’s targets over the last few weeks. The Blues missed out on Raphinha, which didn’t seem to bother supporters all that much considering Raheem Sterling was getting through the door just days later. However, the Blaugrana really stuck it to Chelsea when they snatched Jules Kounde from its hands after the English side flirted with the talented, young centerhalf for over a year.
The Blues must be feeling beat down right about now, which is exactly why they’re looking to take out that metaphorical aggression on a smaller club. As Chelsea continues to look for defensive replacements for the recently departed Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger, it seems as if Todd Boehly is taking a page out of Roman Abramovich’s book and going back to a talent-rich breeding ground. The Blues have now seemingly set their sights on Leicester City as they try to convince Wesley Fofana to play under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel next season.
Chelsea has been interested in Fofana ever since he broke onto the scene at the King Power Stadium a few seasons ago. A serious leg injury has halted the Blues’ pursuit, but now that the centerback is healthy once again, this summer seems like the perfect time to go back in for him. There were rumblings on social media over the last few days that Chelsea could target the Frenchman after being snubbed by Kounde earlier in the week. The Guardian’s Jacob Steinberg confirmed these rumors on Wednesday evening.
Is it really possible for the Blues to pry Fofana out of Brendan Rodgers’ hands though?
Leicester has always driven a hard bargain, but if anyone has managed to crack the code and get the Foxes to the negotiating table over the years, it’s Chelsea. The Blues have signed N’Golo Kante, Danny Drinkwater and Ben Chilwell from their Premier League rivals in the last six years. Even though Drinkwater’s transfer didn’t work out as hoped, the other two purchases that Chelsea has made from the Foxes turned out to be sensational at Stamford Bridge.
The rumored price for Fofana is about £70 million, which is a generous belief from Leicester’s side of the table. If the Blues were to move for the 21-year-old he would almost surely be given the green light to leave for a little less. Let’s not forget that the Foxes quoted Chilwell at £80 million before Marina Granovskaia talked them down to £50 million just a few seasons ago. Even though Todd Boehly will be handling all negotiations this time around, it’s difficult to believe that the £70 million asking price will remain a fixed figure.
Leicester has some leverage due to Fofana signing a new five-year deal earlier this year, but otherwise, it’s going to have to play ball. The fact of the matter is the Foxes are in the same boat as many other teams right now; they have to sell players before they buy them. Youri Tielemans hasn’t gotten the attention that Leicester thought he would this summer, so it’s having to look elsewhere for funds. There have been rumors of Kasper Schmeichel’s exit, a reality Chelsea could help the Foxes avoid altogether with a move for Fofana.
These negotiations are still in the early stages and it’s too soon to determine how feasible this move is in reality. Regardless, it serves as an annual reminder that the Blues are essentially using Leicester as a developmental ground for the next batch of young talent. Rodgers’ once great rebuilding project seems to have cracks in its foundation after a disappointing 2021/22 campaign. The Foxes’ owners could now give in to pressure from Chelsea and offload Fofana to fund a couple of new additions to the team.
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