Leicester City have finally ended their long pursuit of Saint-Etienne defender Wesley Fofana, agreeing a big-money fee with the French club.
According to reports, the Foxes have agreed to pay a £30m fee for the 19-year-old, with a potential £5m in add-ons, and the youngster has signed a five-year deal with his new employers.
Confirmation of the deal brings to an end a long saga between Leicester and Saint-Etienne, with the Foxes reportedly having three bids for the youngster rejected throughout the summer.
With boss Brendan Rodgers having made his intentions to sign a centre-back clear this summer, their search has gone down to the final few days of the transfer window. The club have previously been linked with James Tarkowski of Burnley and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah.
However, Fofana has now been drafted in and should be the perfect fit for the three-at-the-back system that the East-Midlanders deployed in their recent shock 5-2 victory against Manchester City where he should replace Daniel Amartey.
Quick, comfortable on the ball and strong in the air, the young Frenchman also becomes the first permanent centre-back to arrive at the club following the club-record departure of Harry Maguire. He will now compete with the likes of Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu, Wes Morgan and Filip Benkovic at the King Power Stadium.
'I chose Leicester pretty much straight away'
With Fofana developing a reputation as one of the most promising young defenders in Europe, there was understandably plenty of interest in his signature, with the likes of Serie A giants AC Milan and fellow Premier League outfit West Ham United thought to be amongst the admirers.
However, the defender has confirmed that once the Foxes made their interest in him known, he was only interested in one destination.
Talking to LCFC TV after penning his contract with the East-Midlands club, Fofana said: “I chose Leicester pretty much straightaway, despite other interest. It’s the club I wanted to go to the most - they have the best projects in place and the whole club has been very welcoming.
“It’s a very big English club. I’ve followed the team for a while, especially when they were crowned champions in 2015/16. For me, it’s gives me great pride to be here.
“They’re in great form. They’ve won every match so far. They put in a great performance last weekend against Manchester City. It’s great.”