AS Saint-Etienne defender Wesley Fofana is causing quite a stir in France after he publicly declared his desire to leave Ligue 1 and join Brendan Rodger’s Leicester City. However, despite the player’s calls for Saint-Etienne to accept the Foxes’ approach, the centre-back is not expected to be allowed to depart this season.
Fofana, 19, joined Saint-Etienne youth academy back in 2015 and has since gone onto make his way through the youth ranks to force his way into the side’s first-team.
The young Frenchman enjoyed an impressive campaign last time out after making 24 appearances in all competitions with his best moment coming in his side’s 4-1 win over Nice after he scored the fourth goal of the game.
According to a recent report from French outlet L’Equipe Fofana has publicly claimed that he cannot reject a move to Leicester City, as quoted by Sports Witness the 19-year-old said: “I got a lot of offers. It’s okay to have checked them with my agents.
“They didn’t agree to me speaking [publicly]. But what just happened will break something in me. My decision is made: I accept an offer.”
When pressed to answer whether or not he has made a decision to join Leicester City, Fofana said: “Yes, I’ve always dreamed of playing in England.
“Last summer, I had thought about leaving. But as the club did not agree a deal with Salzburg, I stayed, focused 100% on Saint-Étienne. This winter too. This time, I can’t refuse. Where I come from, the northern districts of Marseille and from a not well-off family, that is not possible.
“I’d be crazy to say no to Leicester. This contract can change my life. I have to protect my family… If you take into account the sporting and financial aspects, I am obliged to say yes.
“I’m aware [taking risk of going abroad], but I am determined and mentally ready to change my life. By putting in that sum Leicester are proving they really want me. It’s not like I want to leave for a club where there are a lot of centre-backs. It’s a real sporting project.”
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Fofana’s revelations are shocking and not a stance fans often see players take especially in the public domain, however, Leicester City may want to hold their excitement of landing the highly-rated defender off for the time being.
CaughtOffside has recently obtained exclusive information from a close source who claims that the player will not be leaving Saint-Etienne this season.
We understand that the club feel like Fofana’s comments come as a direct result of the player being put under intense pressure from his agent and the Ligue 1 side have no desire to allow the player to depart this window.
It has been confirmed to us that Leicester City have put an official offer on the table for Fofana, although the value is undisclosed, we understand that the Foxes’ valuation of the player is a long way off Saint-Etienne’s.
Our source has also confirmed that Brendan Rodgers is not the only manager eyeing the French defender as it has been revealed that the biggest clubs in both Spain and Italy including the likes of Barcelona and Juventus are also keen on the Saint-Etienne teenager.
Despite the strong interest in Fofana, our source has confirmed that all interested clubs have been given the same answer, ‘the player is not for sale’.
Of course, it is well known that money talks in football and concrete offers can often make clubs reassess their stances, however, it is clear that if a club is serious about landing Fofana, it’ll take a big effort and a fair bit of cash to do so.