CHELSEA have pulled the plug on their bid to sign Wesley Fofana after Leicester City threw out a THIRD bid worth £70million including add-ons.
SunSport understands Thomas Tuchel, who was desperate to land the 21-year-old French sensation, will now turn his attention to alternative targets.
Frustrated Chelsea chiefs feel the Foxes have priced Fofana out of his dream move after digging in for a joint world record fee of £85million for their star defender.
Even the big spending Blues – bankrolled by ambitious new owner Todd Boehly – believe that’s way too rich for a 21-year-old.
He also missed half of last season with a leg break and has played fewer than 40 Premier League games.
Chelsea were prepared to offer £60million with a further £10million in add-ons.
However, Leicester felt the incentives were far from realistic and refused to budge.
It had been speculated that the Foxes were willing to offload Fofana, after Brendan Rodgers made him watch Saturday’s defeat at home to Southampton, from a seat in the main stand.
That seems to have sparked Chelsea’s latest take-it-or-leave-it final bid.
However, the Stamford Bridge negotiators were stunned to find the Foxes refused to budge and were in fact doubling-down on their original valuation.
Leicester have gained a reputation as battle-hardened negotiators in recent years.
They successfully held out and received a world record £85million for Harry Maguire when Manchester United buckled and met their price in 2019.
Newcastle United pulled their interest in James Maddison this summer when it became clear Leicester valued the midfielder at £65million.
Meanwhile, Youri Tielemans’s final year of his contract continues to run down.
Leicester are yet to receive an offer from long-term admirers Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool.
It’s understood that’s partly down to Leicester looking for more than £50million despite the Belgian having less than a season left on his current deal.
However, Tielemans’ personal demands may also have scared off potential buyers as he is believed to be demanding around £200,000 a week in wages.
In the meantime, Brendan Rodgers will be left with another selection headache on Saturday when Leicester travel to Stamford Bridge.
Any hopes he had of Fofana being in the right frame of mind, fully-focussed on the job in hand, seem slim after this latest transfer twist and he looks likely to be left out again.
It also remains to be seen if Rodgers will turn to Tielemans, who started Saturday’s defeat on the bench.