Premier League • England

Chelsea fail with first Wesley Fofana bid, but key part of Leicester exit done in big Todd Boehly lift

Wesley Fofana, Leicester pre-season July 2022

Chelsea have reportedly failed with an unnamed first transfer bid for Leicester defender Wesley Fofana – but personal terms have not proved an issue.

The Blues came into the summer with big spending ambitions but have not delivered all that they hoped to so far. Kalidou Koulibaly has filled part of the defensive hole left by Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

However, Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel knows he needs more. And the failure to sign two of their targets this week has severely heightened the club’s frustrations.

Jules Kounde looked like he was closing in on a move to Stamford Bridge but stalled and has now signed for Barcelona. Meanwhile, Nordi Mukiele has gone to Paris Saint-Germain instead of Chelsea.

As a result, Mukiele’s fellow Frenchman Fofana has re-emerged as a major Blues target.

According to journalist Ignazio Genuardi, though, Chelsea have failed with a first bid for the 21-year-old. The report does not name the size of the fee.

Nevertheless, there is potential light at the end of the tunnel for new Chelsea owner-cum-sporting director Todd Boehly.

Fofana has reportedly agreed personal terms with the west London club, with a big part of the transfer process chalked off.

The other major part is agreeing a fee with Leicester, who have conflicting desires affecting their decision-making.

Leicester could affect Chelsea, Fofana chase

On the one hand, the Foxes are the only team in the top seven European leagues not to have made a summer signing yet.

They are struggling financially and could do with a big sale. Fofana, though, is one player Leicester boss Rodgers wants to keep. His age and untapped potential for club and country make him a crucial asset.

Leicester suffered with injuries last term. And there is a belief that when all those players gel again – with Fofana at the heart of it all – that the situation will not be as bad as it seems.

As such, reports have claimed that Leicester will only consider selling Fofana for £70million.

Chelsea wary of familiar transfer woe

Chelsea, meanwhile, have been here before with transfer targets this summer and will want to avoid another deal falling through.

It sounds like Fofana could eventually be prised away from Leicester. They are struggling to invest themselves and Tuchel’s own desperation for a signing may see his side pay the full £70million.

But Chelsea have seen Kounde and Mukiele slip from their grasp and agreeing personal terms with Fofana can be likened to them having a five-year deal on the table for Kounde.

The 21-year-old is one Chelsea must not let go if they are serious about strengthening their defence.