Newcastle United have made Leicester City’s Wesley Fofana their ‘priority’ transfer target, despite the defender being out injured.
Newcastle are suddenly flush with cash after the long-awaited £305million takeover, fronted by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, went through last week.
The PIF have assets of £250bn, prompting rumours they will spend big in the January transfer window to strengthen the Magpies’ side.
Fofana is the latest name to be linked with a move to Newcastle, who are planning for life without former owner Mike Ashley and manager Steve Bruce, who is expected to be sacked.
The 20-year-old defender impressed during his debut Premier League season with Leicester in 2020/21, making 38 appearances in all competitions as the Foxes finished fifth in the table and won the FA Cup.
French outlet RMC Sport now say Newcastle are keen on signing him and club officials have already held initial discussions with Fofana’s representatives.
They have reportedly made it clear that he is considered a ‘priority’ for the new ownership consortium, which also includes PCP Capital Partners and RB Sports & Media.
Fofana won’t come cheap, having only joined Leicester on a five-year contract from Saint-Etienne for £36.5m in September last year.
Who should Newcastle sign in January? Have your say in the comments section below.
The other barrier to the transfer is that Fofana is currently sidelined with a serious injury.
The France Under-21 international suffered a fractured right fibula and damaged his ankle ligaments in a friendly against Villarreal on August 4 and manager Brendan Rodgers later explained the extent of the injury.
“He will have his operation on Monday and he won’t play again until 2022,” Rodgers said after Leicester’s Community Shield win over Manchester City.
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“At which point [of 2022], we don’t know yet. We will assess him as he goes. It’s a shame for him and for the Premier League not to have a player like that in it.
“Unfortunately the ligament damage is quite bad.”
Fofana has since posted upbeat updates on social media showing his rehabilitation process, with the young defender hoping to get back to full fitness as soon as possible.
He could return before the end of the 2021/22 season, having posted “Who said the season is over?” last month, but a transfer to Newcastle appears to be a long shot.
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