Brendan Rodgers has strong words for Chelsea, Newcastle over Wesley Fofana, James Maddison interest

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has issued a hands-off warning over Chelsea target Wesley Fofana and reiterated his desire to keep James Maddison from Newcastle’s clutches.

Chelsea are reported to have already failed with an unnamed first offer for Fofana, while Newcastle’s initial £40million bid for Maddison was met by short shrift by the Foxes over the weekend.

And, speaking first about Fofana, Rodgers is adamant his star defender is going nowhere.

He said: “No, he’s not for sale. When we looked at him he had made 17 league starts. Everyone had a look at him back then but he’s come here, really flourished and developed, not just as a player but as a young man.

“He really respects the club, I’ve got no doubt that in the future he’ll be on that (highest) stage but he’s very comfortable, he feels good here.

“He has a great relationship with his team-mates which is important and there’s no doubt he will grace that stage. But for now he’s here, he’s developing and like I said he’s not for sale.

“He’s maybe got an opportunity to get himself in the France squad for the World Cup and for that it’s about playing, so I’m pretty calm on it. I’ve had long chats with him.

“He can’t stop the speculation but he’s very concentrated on his work here and very focused on his development.”

Rodgers standing firm over Maddison 

Rodgers also reiterated his intention to keep hold of Newcastle and Tottenham target Maddison.

The Foxes chief joked after Sunday’s 1-0 friendly win over Sevilla that £40m would buy “three-quarters of his left leg”.

Leicester, the only top-flight side yet to make a signing this summer, still need to sell to bring in reinforcements. However, Rodgers insists they will not be taken advantage of over Maddison or others.

“There is obviously, within the club, a financial situation which isn’t ideal in terms of wanting to do business. It doesn’t mean we will be exploited and we don’t want to be losing our best players,” he said

“You don’t want to lose your best players and then not be able to bring any in. That doesn’t stack up.

“With James, he is looking the best he has in my time here. He is a joy to work with. I love him as a young guy, seeing him grow from when I first came in to a 25-year-old father.

“He is really pivotal to us. There is no way I would want to sell him.”

Rodgers also confirmed that Arsenal target Youri Tielemans could still leave the club.

The Belgian has one year left on his current contract, but offers are yet to arrive, according to Rodgers.

He added: “There is that possibility but there has not been anything for him. We haven’t had any approaches to the club yet on that.

“Of course it is in the back of the mind, that sort of what-if scenario, but he doesn’t want anything to drag on either.”