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Chelsea may launch shock Maguire swoop if Fofana move fails

Frenchman Fofana has long since been established as Thomas Tuchel’s top defensive target at Stamford Bridge, but so far the Blues have been met with repeated frustration in their attempts to strike a deal.

Chelsea had already seen two bids for the 21-year-old rejected before a third offer understood to be worth up to £70million including add-ons was instantly dismissed on Tuesday as Leicester hold out for a world-record fee for a defender that would equal that which they received from United for Maguire back in 2019.

Fofana wants to join Chelsea and has been left out of Leicester’s last two matchday squads as well as being sent to work with the club’s under-23s after failing to turn up for training on one day last week, according to Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers.

Harry Maguire was left on the bench for Manchester United’s win over Liverpool on Monday

/ Getty Images

However, while Chelsea are certainly not giving up on their pursuit of the France U21 international, they do not want to meet Leicester’s current asking price and it remains to be seen if an agreement can be reached.

If Fofana does not arrive, then Chelsea may move for Maguire before the summer window closes for business at 11pm BST on September 1.

The England stalwart was previously a mainstay in defence for both club and country, but is now fighting for his Manchester United future after being dropped along with Cristiano Ronaldo by new manager Erik ten Hag for Monday night’s morale-boosting 2-1 victory over rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford, with Rafael Varane starting alongside summer signing Lisandro Martinez in the backline instead.

Maguire is still said to figure in the Dutchman’s plans this season, but reports suggest he is no longer seen as an indispensable figure.

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