Football: Chelsea closing in on defender Fofana from Leicester

Wesley Fofana is currently undergoing his medical examination in the US, according to media sources. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS, AFP) Chelsea are reportedly closing in on the £70 million (S$114.5 million) signing of Wesley Fofana from Leicester City, but the club hopes their transfer business will not end with the recruitment of the French centre-back.

According to multiple media reports, the 21-year-old, who has signed a six-year deal, is currently undergoing his medical examination in the United States as the Blues want to make sure he is fully recovered from his broken leg and dislocated ankle.

The double injury caused Fofana to miss most of last season but he has shown no signs of lingering fitness issues, starting two of the Foxes' Premier League games this term, before being left out of their recent loss to Chelsea after being mentally affected by the speculation surrounding his move.

Blues boss Thomas Tuchel reportedly also wants another forward - they have yet to replace Timo Werner after allowing him to return to RB Leipzig - and he is said to want a reunion with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Barcelona.

The former Arsenal captain enjoyed a fruitful relationship with Tuchel when the duo were at Borussia Dortmund.

Meanwhile, former England midfielder Ross Barkley has left Chelsea by mutual consent, the Premier League club said on Monday. 

Barkley, 28, left his boyhood side Everton and joined Chelsea in 2018 before making 100 appearances for the London team in all competitions and scoring 12 goals.

With the transfer window closing on Thursday (Sept 1), time is running out for the Blues to get new faces in and the German has admitted he will make do with the existing squad if he has to. 

They have already signed Marc Cucurella, Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly, Carney Chukwuemeka, Cesare Casadei and Gabriel Slonina this summer.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's league trip to Southampton, Tuchel said he was fully focused on Chelsea's opponents as they look to make it three victories from five games after beating Leicester 2-1 last time out.

"Right now, we could need more players in some positions but it's close to the end of the transfer window and when Sept 1 comes, I will be a happy coach no matter what happens," he said at his pre-match press conference on Monday.

"I will try to find solutions and not think about what could have happened. All that matters is the reality and the moment now... and what will matter at Southampton is to find a way to win."

Chelsea cruised to a 6-0 win over the Saints last season, but Tuchel warned his team there was little chance of a repeat and that they should not take their 13th-placed opponents lightly at St Mary's.

"What you can always expect at Southampton is a physical game, a running game and a high-intensity game," he added. "So we need to recover well and be well prepared to have a chance to repeat what we did last season."

Talks between Chelsea and Barca yesterday reportedly continued over the possible transfer of Aubameyang, who was the victim of a violent armed robbery at his home in the early hours of yesterday morning.

At least four men broke into his home in Castelldefels, an affluent seaside town on the outskirts of Barcelona, through the garden and threatened him and his wife with guns and iron bars, and hit him, local daily El Pais reported. His children were also at home at the time.

The thieves fled by car after forcing the Gabonese striker, who is known to flaunt his wealth on social media, to open a safe before making off with the jewels inside.

"He is OK now, scared but OK," a club source told Agence France-Presse.

Catalan police did not identify the victim, citing privacy rules.

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