Saint-Etienne haven’t ruled out selling Wesley Fofana to Leicester before the transfer deadline, but would want the defender back on loan for the rest of the season.
90min learned exclusively earlier this month that Fofana is Leciester’s number one defensive target this window, but have had as many as three bids rejected in recent weeks, according to reports.
Leicester’s most recent bid of €32m (£29.5m) had been rejected according to a previous report from L’Equipe. The French outfit – via the Leicester Mercury – now report that Saint-Etienne are willing to do business if The Foxes agree to let Fofana stay with the French side on loan this season.
Saint-Etienne are currently managed by former Leicester head coach Claude Puel, who is insistent on keeping the 19-year-old in his squad. Les Verts are holding firm on their word and are reluctant to sell Fofana, despite interest from Leicester and a number of other clubs including West Ham, AC Milan and RB Leipzig.
Leicester are believed to still be in pole position to land the young Frenchman, however, and reports suggest that Saint-Etienne would even consider a player plus cash deal to complete any potential transfer. Leicester need an immediate fix to their defence, however, and are considering other candidates.
Their interest in Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah has been confirmed by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano. The reporter states that Leicester see the German as a ‘serious option’ and are ready to open talks with the Bundesliga side, should a deal for Fofana collapse.
Fofana himself is keen on a move to the one-time Premier League champions and has expressed his desire to join the club to French media. Amid the interest, Fofana was absent from his side’s latest fixture, although Puel was quick to distance his absence from the transfer and confirmed that he had ‘pain in his knee’ when speaking to press post-match.
The 19-year-old made 24 appearances in all competitions for Saint-Etienne last season and would bring youth to an experienced yet ageing Leicester defence.