News from London: Chelsea reportedly agree personal terms with Wesley Fofana

Wesley Fofana of Leicester City (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

A final practice match awaits Chelsea before the Premier League season starts. Let’s quickly look at the likely Blues starting lineup for the Udinese friendly. This educated conjecture might perhaps help us eventually work out CFC XIs for the first EPL clash versus Everton at Goodison Park. In addition to a subsequently significant matchup with an improving Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge. There is talk of Thomas Tuchel switching from his mainstay three-centreback system to a four-defender setup. Over preseason, three friendlies have been played; the German twice deployed three at the back, and four on one occasion. Tellingly, the heavy defeat to Arsenal was the latter time.

Therefore I am unconvinced that Tuchel shall trust the transition for the initial contest with the Toffees on August 6. If another centrehalf is not signed between now and that date, we probably already know most of the starters. Thiago Silva, Kalidou Koulibaly and either Trevoh Chalobah, Malang Sarr or Reece James will likely protect Edouard Mendy’s goal. If James is at right-centreback, Callum Hudson-Odoi may play versus the White and Blacks, at least. Naturally Ben Chilwell will begin at left-wingback. I feel that N’golo Kante will partner Jorginho in central midfield. Meanwhile a trio of Mason Mount, Raheem Sterling and Kai Havertz will form a front three.

A story carried in the Evening Standard will undoubted delight CFC supporters all around the world. Well, some Blues might remain sore over the Jules Kounde hijacking, or prefer other centreback targets. But let me assure you: Wesley Fofana is an absolutely deluxe and first-rate CB.

If news that the Blues have made an agreement with the startlingly good young defender on the elite scene is true, then all power to them. The West Londoners have potentially gotten themselves a gem of a signing. There is no doubt about that.

Fofana’s rise to stardom – in Leicestershire and on the French radar, at least – has been rapid. What he has confidently accomplished at the age of 21, with hurdles in the way, is more than admirable. However, if Chels’ refuse to pay the £85million quoted fee for the player – they risk missing out on arguably their best transfer of the summer.

Should CFC negotiating tactics be particularly intense, LCFC may subsequently and stubbornly abort discussions. Evidently the East Midlands side are not a club to be bullied; in fact, over recent seasons Leicester have often outwitted the larger outfits in dealings. Not to mention regularly disrupting the supposed ‘order of things’ towards the top of the Premier League.

LCFC are to be respected; the King Power-owned team do compromise and are respectful. Yet protecting their assets is paramount as a smaller organisation. Being accurately paid for prized players is essential for the business model. Chelsea can probably secure a top target here, for the right price; an addition who has the capacity to be a leader at the Bridge for over a decade.