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Leicester ask for world-record fee from Chelsea to sign Fofana – Sporting Life

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Chelsea have been told they will need to pay a world-record fee if they hope to end the deadlock with Leicester City and sign Wesley Fofana before the transfer window closes.

Thomas Tuchel has spent a sizable portion of the close season rebuilding a defence which has lost the services of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, while Marcos Alonso is on the verge of departing as well.

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Kalidou Koulibaly looks to be an ideal replacement for Rudiger already, while Marc Cucarella will provide competition for Ben Chilwell who has only just returned from a long-term injury.

Sourcing a replacement for Christensen, however, has been anything but straightforward with Chelsea frustrated in their attempts to sign Jule Kounde who eventually plumped for Barcelona after opting to leave Sevilla.

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Chelsea have since turned their attentions to Kounde’s compatriot Fofana, who has excelled in the Premier League following his move to the Foxes from Saint Etienne two years ago.

Leicester have endured a difficult summer themselves and are battling to keep hold of their prize assets. Long-serving goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel departed for Nice earlier this month, while James Maddison is attracting interest from Newcastle.

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Chelsea have already seen two bids for Fofana knocked back but Leicester appear to be softening their stance and, according to The Telegraph, will sell the 21-year-old if they receive an offer in excess of the world-record fee Manchester United paid them for a defender in Harry Maguire three years ago.

Shelling out in excess of £80million is unlikely to deter new owner Todd Boehly who is determined to arm Tuchel with a squad capable of challenging Manchester City and Liverpool for the title.

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Asked if t. was a cut-off point for Leicester to consider any bids, Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers said yesterday: ‘That will be up to the ownership, the end decision will be down to them.

‘Even now, it would be late in terms of looking to get in replacements, but it’s certainly something that the later it goes on then the more difficult it becomes.

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‘Another year . for him at least would be really important for his development, but he is quite calm and relaxed in the situation.

‘He is aware of the interest. He understands w. we are as a club and w. we see him. He’s just getting on with his work and training well, and whenever t. is any communication we are able to have a conversation.’

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