(Reuters) – Leicester City defender and Chelsea target Wesley Fofana will not play for the club this weekend against the London side after manager Brendan Rodgers said on Thursday that the Frenchman is not in the “right frame of mind”.
British media reported Leicester have rejected three bids from Chelsea for 21-year-old Fofana, with the last bid reportedly worth 70 million pounds ($82.65 million).
“He won’t be available for the weekend. He has trained with the Under-23 squad,” Rodgers told reporters ahead of Saturday’s Premier League trip to Stamford Bridge.
“I’m not sure (if Chelsea will come in with another bid). My concentration is really on the players I have in the team. I can’t lose energy thinking so much about it. It will be something that will be done between the clubs.
“For me, it’s always about the commitment and when the players are ready to commit to the ethos of the team. If they’re not in the right frame of mind, we have to move on. The window will shut and then things will become clearer.”
Similarities were drawn with Leicester’s former centre back Harry Maguire who moved to Manchester United in 2019 for 80 million pounds but Rodgers said the English defender stayed professional until his departure.
“I was aware over the course of the summer that there was a possibility that (Maguire’s transfer) could happen,” Rodgers added.
“Harry, in terms of his behaviour and his focus for the club, he was fantastic right until the last minute, then he moved on.”
Leicester’s only transfer business in the close season has been bringing Alex Smithies in as a backup goalkeeper on a free transfer and Rodgers said the club could only release funds once players leave.
The club are 19th in the standings without a win in three games but Rodgers said the mood in the camp is “absolutely fine”.
“I’m one of the last people who will lose their optimism. I know there is a lot of noise what we haven’t done in terms of improving the squad. But we come in to improve and develop, and that won’t change,” he said.
($1 = 0.8470 pounds)
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)