Wesley Fofana has been left out of Leicester’s squad for Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Southampton, amid serious transfer interest from Chelsea.
The Blues have failed with two bids for the young centre-back, the latest of which was worth around £70m, and are preparing a third which will come closer to Leicester’s price tag of £85m – the current record for a defender, set by Harry Maguire’s move to Manchester United from King Power in 2019.
Amid the uncertainty over his future, 90min reported on Friday that Fofana was not expected to be part of the Leicester squad for Saturday’s game, and that has now been confirmed by Brendan Rodgers’ selection.
Fofana appeared to rebuff suggestions that it was him who asked to be left out, posting a handful of tweets in response to the claims before quickly deleting them.
The 21-year-old posted several laughing emojis in a reply to one post, before writing: “Stop making up anything and everything about me.” Both tweets have since been deleted.
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Asked to explain the omissions of both Fofana and Youri Tielemans, the latter of whom was only on the bench, Rodgers said: “A change of system, but I mentioned in the week about coming into a Premier League game… players that maybe just aren’t quite in the right frame of mind. You can’t carry them, certainly we can’t, so that’s the reason for the change.”
Fofana is understood to be frustrated by Leicester’s high price tag which Chelsea are reluctant to meet at this point.
The Blues have explored numerous player-plus-cash deals to try and get this transfer over the line, the latest of which involves young centre-back Trevoh Chalobah, who will be allowed to leave Stamford Bridge on loan if Fofana – or any other centre-back – is signed this summer.