Chelsea has signed French center-back Wesley Fofana from Leicester City on a seven-year contract worth around £70 million.
Under-21 France international Since joining Leicester from Saint-Etienne in 2020, Fofana has made 37 Premier League appearances.
After breaking his leg in pre-season, he was limited to just seven league games in 2021-22.
“The last two days have been really important for me, and I’m very happy,” he said.
“I trained with the team this morning, and it was a dream come true for me.” I’m really looking forward to starting playing games for the fans and the club.
“I’m here to win trophies, including the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup. I came here to win, and the club is built to win trophies, so I’m here to keep it going.”
He is the third most expensive Premier League defender, trailing Manchester United’s £80 million signing of Harry Maguire from Leicester in 2019 and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, who joined the Reds for £75 million in 2017.
Fofana’s initial fee ranks him 12th in the Premier League, but he will drop to 13th when Manchester United completes the £81.3 million signing of Antony.
The Fofana deal brings Premier League clubs’ total summer transfer window spending to nearly £1.7 billion as of Thursday’s deadline – and that figure is expected to rise even further. The previous high for summer spending was £1.43 billion in 2017.
“Wesley is a hugely promising defender who has already proven his quality in the Premier League at a young age,” said Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly, who has spent nearly £250 million in his first transfer window since buying the club from Roman Abramovich.
“We are delighted to have brought one of Europe’s most exciting talents to Chelsea and to have strengthened that area of our squad for this season and many more to come.”
Brendan Rodgers’ starting XI included Fofana, who helped Leicester win the FA Cup for the first time in their history by defeating Chelsea in the 2021 final.
“Sorry to lose him, but best wishes to Wesley Fofana,” former Leicester striker Gary Lineker said on social media.
“It’s understandable because every player wants to play in the Champions League.”
“Chelsea fans, you have the world’s most prodigiously talented young central defender. Yes, I believe he is that talented.”
Chelsea signed Raheem Sterling from Manchester City for £50 million this summer, Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £34 million, English midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka from Aston Villa for £20 million, Spain left-back Marc Cucurella from Brighton for £60 million, and Italian midfielder Cesare Casadei from Inter Milan.
Thomas Tuchel’s side are eighth in the Premier League after a 2-1 loss at Southampton on Tuesday, their second in three games.