Eden Hazard transfer u-turn lines up Chelsea's Antonio Rudiger heir after key contract decision

Wesley Fofana has penned a new five-year contract at Leicester City, handing Chelsea a major blow in their pursuit of landing one of the rumoured names being lined up as an Antonio Rudiger replacement.

 The 21-year-old, who is yet to feature this season after breaking his leg and suffering ankle ligament damage in a pre-season friendly, has been subject to interest from a host of Europe's leading sides.

Thomas Tuchel's side were reportedly keen to sign the Foxes centre-half this summer but the Blues faced competition from Real Madrid at the time and his list of suitors will not have shortened despite his prolonged injury absence.

 Now that Fofana has signed an extension at the King Power Stadium, Brendan Rodgers is now in a strong position to command a hefty fee for the France youth international in a bid to fend off any lingering interest.

However, despite Fofana's new deal obstructing Tuchel's efforts to find a potential replacement for Rudiger, Chelsea can draw confidence from the negotiations that brought Eden Hazard to Stamford Bridge. The Belgian winger signed a four-year contract with LOSC Lille in March 2011 amid growing interest from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool.

But, just a year later, Hazard found himself tweeting 'I'm signing for the champion's league winner'. Leicester will feel emboldened to keep hold of one of their most prized assets and a player they have missed greatly this season now that he has committed his future to the club but Chelsea will equally be aware that every player has his price and this may be a move on the Foxes' part to secure a larger transfer fee.

A new contract for a promising young defender represents impressive business by the Foxes and offers them considerable financial security; the likes of Gareth Bale, Ilkay Gundogan and Luis Suarez have all been subject to similar contract sagas in the past.

However, a mass exodus of Chelsea defenders appears likely at the end of the season so the Blues' need for reinforcements is becoming greater and greater.

If the Blues are to lose Rudiger in addition to the likes of Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta, more than one addition may be sought. But Fofana could actually miss out on a move himself unless Chelsea opt to revisit a deal a year further down the line, just like the Blues achieved with their Hazard swoop 10 years ago.

Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt and Sevilla's Jules Kounde have each been credited with a summer move to Stamford Bridge and the interest in that duo may prompt Leicester to consider what sort of money Chelsea could offer for Fofana.

 The Blues have a choice to make over a player who seems to fit the bill for their defensive rebuild. Buy now and perhaps pay over the odds or bide their time amid a sea change at the heart of their backline.

Post a Comment