Wanted centre-back will miss Leicester’s game against Chelsea on Saturday with his current club eyeing Manuel Akanji if he is sold
Chelsea had a bid worth £70million rejected earlier this week
Chelsea are preparing to increase their offer for Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana and have moved closer to agreeing a deal with Barcelona for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to return to the Premier League.
Fofana will miss his team’s fixture on Saturday at Stamford Bridge, where he wants to move before the summer transfer window closes next week. Todd Boehly, the Chelsea chairman, is understood to have his sights on the French centre-back, 21, despite seeing a bid worth £70million rejected earlier this week.
According to sources in Germany, Borussia Dortmund’s Manuel Akanji is Leicester’s No1 target if Fofana is sold.
A Switzerland international, Akanji has been identified as a high-quality replacement by Leicester’s recruitment team. Dortmund want around £20m for the 27-year-old, though a loan deal cannot be ruled out at this late stage in the window.
“He (Fofana) won’t be available for the weekend and has trained with the U23s squad,” confirmed Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers. “I’m not sure [if there will be a fourth bid]. My concentration is with the team, I can’t lose energy thinking about it.
“It will be something done between the clubs, until then I keep working. It’s always about the commitment and when the player is ready to commit to the team. If he’s not in the right frame of mind I must consider the welfare of the player and push on.”
Chelsea and Barcelona were transfer rivals for Jules Kounde earlier in the window, with the Spaniards dramatically winning the race for the centre-back. But there is confidence that a deal for Aubameyang can be completed, with the former Arsenal forward wanted by Thomas Tuchel to add options in his forward line.
Everton winger Anthony Gordon has also been a target for Chelsea and talks have continued over a deal for the England Under-21 international to be part of Tuchel’s squad in a £60m package including add-ons.