Chelsea are reportedly prepared to offer Wesley Fofana a lucrative contract worth £200,000-a-week, but will have to pay a world-record fee for a defender of £85million to get their man.
Thomas Tuchel has been pushing to sign the 21-year-old centre-back for the past few weeks, as he looks to fill the void left by the summer exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.
According to French publication L’Equipe, the Blues have already failed with an opening offer of £62.8m (€75m) for Fofana.
And The Sun claims that Leicester have already told Chelsea they will only considering selling for £85m-plus.
That figure would make Fofana the most expensive defensive signing of all time. It would beat the £80m Manchester United paid to sign Harry Maguire from the Foxes in 2019.
The report states that Tuchel and new owner Todd Boehly are reluctant to match that eyewatering fee. However, they are considering throwing in midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek as part of a deal.
And if the two clubs do come to an agreement, Fofana would earn a bumper pay rise.
The Daily Mail states that the Frenchman’s salary will increase to £200,000-a-week, if he heads to Stamford Bridge.
Fofana fulled talk of a move to west London after removing Leicester from his Twitter bio. That is despite the fact that he only penned a new long-term deal with the club in March.
Chelsea have so far made two high-profile additions in Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly. However, Tuchel is ramping up his efforts to bring in more quality.
At least two more Chelsea signings on the way
The Blues are hoping to beat United to Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who is keen on a move to London.
Reports also emerged on Wednesday evening that Chelsea have agreed a deal to sign Marc Cucurella.
The Brighton full-back is seemingly heading to the Bridge in a £50m deal that includes Blues youngster Levi Colwill heading in the opposite direction.
Tuchel also remains interested in signing RB Leipzig’s Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol, who is also wanted by Tottenham.
In terms of major outgoings, Chelsea offered Timo Werner back to his old club in exchange for Gvardiol. However, that approach was knocked back by Leipzig.
The Blues begin the new Premier League campaign with a trip to Everton on Saturday evening.
The game will see them go head-to-head with record goalscorer Frank Lampard, who will be in the Toffees dugout.