Chelsea willing to meet Leicester's £85m Fofana price but will try lowball bid

Chelsea willing to meet Leicester's £85m Fofana price but will try lowball bid

Chelsea willing to meet Leicester's £85m Fofana price but will try lowball bid

CHELSEA are willing to meet Leicester's £85million valuation for Wesley Fofana.

The centre-back is keen on a move but Blues chiefs must up their initial bid to force the Foxes' hand.

The London giants made a £60m offer for the Frenchman, 21, but his club will not budge on their world-record price tag.

Chelsea may test the water with another offer below £85m. Yet owner Todd Boehly is determined to land the former Saint-Etienne man.

Boss Brendan Rodgers does not want to sell but would consider an offer matching the £85m fee Manchester United paid for Harry Maguire in 2019 — a world record for a defender.

Chelsea are willing to pay that but, given Leicester's need to raise transfer funds, hope they can do a deal for less.

Stamford Bridge chief Thomas Tuchel needs to add numbers at the back having seen Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger go on free transfers.

Yet captain Cesar Azpilicueta has agreed a new two-year contract after Barcelona ended their pursuit of him.

And the Spaniard, 32, said: “'I am really happy to extend my stay at Chelsea — my home.

“It is almost ten years since I first arrived so I really feel the love and am really excited for the new project.”

Boehly added: “We are thrilled with our captain showing his exemplary commitment yet again. There is still so much to do together.”

The Blues ramped up their asking price for Azpilicueta after Barca beat them to Raphinha and Jules Kounde.

Chelsea signed Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £35m — but missed out on Kounde and Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe.

They are close to a £62m deal for 24-year-old Brighton full-back Marc Cucurella.

But that move hinges on Blues centre-back Levi Colwill, 19, going the other way.

Chelsea are yet to decide whether to let Colwill go permanently — which Brighton prefer — or loan him out.

Either way, his future looks set to be away from Chelsea having not even been allocated with a squad number last night.

Carney Chukwuemeka, 18, who completed his £15m move from Aston Villa yesterday, has been handed the No 30 shirt.

And Boehly hinted the midfielder could be ready to feature this season.

Boehly said: “Carney is one of the most exciting young players in Europe.

“We are delighted to add such a talented individual to our squad for the new season.”
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