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Wesley Fofana to Chelsea transfer can help Leicester City star secure crucial ‘next step’

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Chelsea are very interested in signing Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana after missing out on Jules Kounde. The 21-year-old has been on the Blues’ radar for some time now and he could be the next defender the club turn their attention to this summer.

A source told football.london on Wednesday that Chelsea are set to open talks with Fofana and his representatives – perhaps as early as Wednesday – over a move to Stamford Bridge. The Frenchman, though, signed a new long-term contract at Leicester back in March, meaning his deal at the King Power Stadium runs until 2027.

This puts the Foxes in a very strong bargaining position. Chelsea, however, believe Fofana can become a world-class talent one day and are testing the waters over a move.

Fofana has been on Chelsea’s radar virtually ever since making the move from Saint-Etienne to Leicester back in October 2020. In his first season with the club, Fofana picked up Leicester City’s Young Player of the Season award after being voted by the club’s supporters.

It was testament to the talent Leicester had on their hands. Many clubs around Europe – including Chelsea – took note.

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However, disaster struck for the young Foxes defender in August of last year. Playing in a pre-season friendly against Villarreal, Fofana suffered a broken leg. He was then sidelined for the majority of the 2021/22 season through the serious injury – returning to action over seven months later.

It massively derailed Fofana and his rapid progress. There was plenty of talk about the defender receiving his first-ever call-up to the France senior squad prior to his injury.

Unfortunately for Fofana, there are countless French centre-backs with bags of talent and ability, making it one of the most difficult squads to get in to if you’re a defender. Raphael Varane, Ibrahima Konate, Jules Kounde, Presnel Kimpembe, William Saliba and Dayot Upamecano are just a few examples of the options Didier Deschamps has to choose from for Les Bleus.

With the FIFA World Cup now a few months away, Fofana is aiming to impress Deschamps to try and force his way into the star-studded squad. It will be some challenge, but his ambition is perfectly clear.

“To be honest, Les Bleus, it’s the next step and an objective, because I can’t say that it’s just an objective because that would mean that I’m saying maybe in five years’ time,” Fofana said in an interview with Canal+ earlier this year, via Get French Football News. “No – it’s the next step.

“Sure, it is an objective but it’s the next step. On my return, I want to be with the French team as quickly as possible because I have the determination and I have the desire.

“I want to represent my country. It’s in the corner of my mind. I know in December, there’s a huge deadline. I’m not afraid to say it, I’m determined to come back strong for the World Cup in Qatar.”

Chelsea could indeed help Fofana in his quest. The Blues are in desperate need for another central defender following the double departure of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

The fact that Chelsea have Champions League football next term is obviously a massive lure to Fofana. If the defender can prove himself in Europe’s elite competition, like a large number of the aforementioned French centre-backs do on a regular basis, then Deschamps may look at the situation in a different manner.

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