Leicester City have agreed a deal worth £36million with St Etienne for French centre-back Wesley Fofana following a breakthrough in the summer transfer saga.
Brendan Rodgers made Fofana, 19, his primary defensive target earlier in the summer but struggled to agree a fee with his Ligue 1 club, who wanted more than £50million for a player with four years left on his current contract.
Telegraph Sport revealed St Etienne were willing to lower their asking price as they risked missing out completely on a windfall for the teenager during the current window. He is set to join Rodgers’ squad after a medical is completed.
The deal was initially complicated as Claude Puel, who was sacked at the King Power Stadium last year, is now in charge at Geoffroy Stadium and wanted to keep Fofana from his old club.
Leicester made a bid for Burnley’s James Tarkowski and also looked at Germany centre-back Jonathan Tah on a loan from Bayer Leverkusen, although the agreement for Fofana should be their last defensive arrival before next week’s transfer deadline for international deals.
Rodgers had made a centre-back his priority as he relied on Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu last season and needed competition ahead of another campaign challenging for the Champions League places.
Evans’ suspension at the start of the season saw Rodgers play Wilfred Ndidi drop from his midfield role into defence but the Nigeria international is now sidelined through injury, meaning fewer options.
Rodgers has brought in Belgium full-back Timothy Castagne from Atalanta and his arrival has been a success in the early games of the Premier League season. Cengiz Ünder has also arrived on a loan from Roma to bolster his attacking options.
Castagne’s arrival covered for Ben Chilwell’s departure to Chelsea in a £50million deal but Rodgers still wanted to strengthen the central area of his defence, which also has Wes Morgan competing for a place.