Chelsea have verbally agreed a £70million fee for Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana plus add-ons that will likely make it a world-record sum for a defender.
The 21-year-old has already agreed on personal terms until 2027 with the option for an extra year.
The fee could exceed the one paid by Manchester United to sign Harry Maguire in 2019 and is the fourth in a series of bids to sign the Foxes defender, who had requested a move and was training with the Under-21s. Leicester have been lining up a replacement for the last few days to allow the deal to go through.
Fofana was already set to miss his side’s match with Chelsea on Saturday after Brendan Rodgers deemed him not in the right frame of mind to play. Now, on the eve of the Premier League match, the decisive breakthrough has been made.
The Blues will now continue to push for more signings as their summer spending reaches a staggering £245m with the addition of Fofana.
Talks continued last night with Barcelona for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a £14m plus Marcos Alonso bid was rejected. There also remains interest in Everton winger Anthony Gordon after two bids worth up to £45m were dismissed.
The academy remains in the club’s thoughts for strengthening, too, with talks ongoing for Dinamo Moscow midfielder Arsen Zakharyan, who has a £12.6m release clause.