Wesley Fofana: Saint-Etienne youngster accepts Leicester City offer despite Puel’s assurance

The in-demand Malian centre-back has reveals his decision to join the King Power Stadium outfit this summer

Saint-Etienne defender Wesley Fofana has stated he is accepting Leicester City’s offer to join the Premier League side.

The King Power Stadium have reportedly proposed a five-year contract to the young centre-back and are prepared to pay €29 million for his service.

The 19-year-old was promoted to the Green’s first team in 2019, making his professional debut in Ligue 1 against Nice.

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The defender featured 17 times in the French top-flight for the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard outfit last season to help them avoid relegation.

Fofana has revealed his decision to accept the Foxes proposal despite Saint-Etienne manager Claude Puel assuring him he remains a key component of his team for the 2020-21 campaign.

“I received a lot of offers. It is normal to have them checked by my agents. They did not agree with me wanting to speak out [like this]. But what has just happened stoked something in me. My decision is made: I am accepting an offer,” Fofana told L’Equipe.

“Leicester? Yes. I have always dreamed of playing in England. It is not a whim. Already last summer, I had thought about it. But as the club did not agree with Salzburg, I stayed 100% focus on the Greens.

“This winter too. This time I can’t refuse. Where I’m from, the northern parts of Marseille and a not-so-well-off family, it’s not possible. I’d be crazy to say no to Leicester.

“Contract can change my life. I have to protect my family by sheltering them. Sporting and financial aspects being combined, I have to say yes.

“I am aware of taking a risk by leaving early abroad, but I’m 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 the number of centre-backs is immense. It is a real sporting project.

“I went to see the coach [Claude Puel] yesterday morning to tell him what had happened, that I was not in a good way, and that I want to leave.

“I tried, but I was not able to talk about my problems through with him. No worries. I will sort it out on my own. I am used to that. As he was closed off to the discussion, we spoke about the sporting side, not my private life.

“He told me that I am 100% part of the project and that it is out of the question that I leave during this transfer window “.

Fofana, who is eligible to play for Mali and France will hope his future is sorted out this summer to enable him to concentrate on his development.

Riyad Mahrez also faced a turbulent time when he tried to leave Leicester City for Manchester City under manager Puel in January 2018.

The Algeria international went AWOL to force the move but was rebuffed before he eventually left in the summer.




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