Chelsea have gone ahead to begin the search for Antonio Rudiger’s replacement as the contract standoff between the club and the player nears no end, and have settled upon Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana.
GOAL reports that the injured Leicester defender is the Blues’ major target in the coming summer transfer window as they prepare for Antonio Rudiger’s possible exit from the club.
The UEFA Champions League title holders have already been shopping for defenders and just missed out on Sevilla’s Jules Kounde before last summer’s window closed, thanks to some market shrewdness from Sevilla’s director of football, Ramón Rodríguez Verdejo (Monchi).
Trevoh Chalobah was given a chance instead to cover up for Chelsea’s defensive deficiencies after the deal for Kounde collapsed. The 22-year-old defender was officially promoted to the Blues’ first team in 2018 but has spent all that time away on loan.
This season, Chalobah has repaid Chelsea’s trust in him handsomely, but the club is still facing the prospect of losing three defenders at the end of the season.
Along with Antonio Rudiger, club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Danish centre-back Andreas Christensen all have expiring contracts and are yet to reach any agreement over new deals with the club.
Rudiger’s case seems to be settled, as the Blues have reportedly resigned to losing the player in the summer and are making plans to move for Fofana as his replacement.
Fofana to cost the blues a handsome fee
The 20-year-old centre-back impressed in his debut season, being a key part of the club’s FA Cup winning squad, the first in the Foxes’ history.
The France U-21 was expected to be a key part of the Foxes season but an injury to his fibula and ankle ligament, which required surgery to repair, in pre-season took him out of the Foxes’ plans for the rest of 2021.
Yet, Fofana continues to attract suitors, with Chelsea being the latest following their Rudiger situation.
Leicester City is expected to request a very handsome fee for the young Frenchman who still has three years left of his Leicester City contract.
Chelsea may have the capability to match Leicester’s demands but may not be willing to pay for a defender who only has one full Premier League season under his belt.
Chelsea offered De Ligt by Juventus
Reports have also claimed that Juventus have approached Chelsea to offer them their £280,000-per-week Dutch youngster, Matthias De Ligt.
GOAL reports that the Serie A giants have made this offer in a bid to cut down their astronomical wage bill.
The former Golden Boy award winner is reportedly happy at Juventus but his agent Mino Raiola has opened the door to his exit.
“De Ligt could leave Juventus at the end of the season,” Raiola said to journalists at the beginning of the season.
“This is how the market works, there are many clubs who are interested in his services.”
It looks to be a good deal for the West London side who have Rudiger and other defenders to worry about. However, the Netherlands youngster’s release clause of £125million may be too much for Chelsea to consider.
Thomas Tuchel, however, hopes that the club can keep Rudiger as he considers him a key part of his team.