Premier League • England

Chelsea haunted by prospect of third defender transfer hijack, despite preparing to hit £85m Fofana price

Leicester defender Wesley Fofana

A new attempt from Chelsea to sign Wesley Fofana from Leicester City could be disrupted by Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports.

Fofana is Chelsea’s next top target to strengthen their defence after the arrivals of Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella. However, the Leicester star will not come cheap. Indeed, his current employers are holding out for a world-record sum for a defender.

Hence, they want more than the £80million they received from Manchester United for Harry Maguire in 2019. After some unsuccessful attempts, Chelsea are now giving serious thought to reaching that territory with a new bid.

It was revealed on Tuesday that they are considering raising their offer for Fofana to tempt Leicester into a sale. Since then, confirmation has arrived from talkSPORT.

The radio station has claimed that Chelsea could submit an £85million bid for the Frenchman. However, recent reports from Le Parisien that PSG are keen to hijack the deal have been verified.

Chelsea have already lost out on some major defensive targets to other big clubs this summer. Matthijs de Ligt joined Bayern Munich from Juventus, while Jules Kounde left Sevilla to join ex-Blues centre-back Andreas Christensen at Barcelona.

Hence, they might have worries about the prospect of seeing Fofana move to PSG instead. Over in the French capital, more competition is being sought for the likes of Sergio Ramos, Marquinhos and Presnel Kimpembe (who has coincidentally been linked with Chelsea).

The likes of Thilo Kehrer (a West Ham target) and Abdou Diallo face uncertain futures in Paris. Therefore, Fofana could replenish their ranks.

It would mark a return to Ligue 1 for the Marseille-born talent, who came through the ranks at Saint-Etienne before joining Leicester in 2020. He has enhanced his reputation in the Premier League and seems ready for the next step.

Leicester have been preparing for a sale in 2023, but there is now a growing feeling they will lose Fofana this summer. It would be a blow to them after he missed much of last season through injury.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have been unable to make any signings of their own this summer. Financial reasons mean sales – like one for Fofana – could be more likely.

Chelsea or PSG better for Fofana?

Now, it is just a matter of where Fofana would end up. Leicester have no European football on offer this season, whereas both of his main suitors are in the Champions League.

Either move could have some appeal to the 21-year-old, who looks like he can enjoy a career at the top level still.

Would it be better for Leicester to avoid sending him to a Premier League rival? They can’t class Chelsea as direct competitors after where they finished last season. But it still may be in their best interests to ensure he doesn’t thrive against them.

That said, Fofana may want to continue developing in English football. Alternatively, a move back to France would be appealing – one would imagine – if with a club as powerful as PSG.

Given the amount of money he would cost, it is unfeasible to imagine Fofana as a bench player at either club. He would be moving to start, so it could just be down to a choice of who makes the better offer to club and player.

READ MORE  Nottingham Forest transfer news: Enquiry made to Chelsea for Emerson Palmieri, as second Italian also considered