Wesley Fofana opens up on 'dream' Chelsea transfer & 'hard' negotiations

Tom Gott
Fofana joined Chelsea from Leicester
Fofana joined Chelsea from Leicester / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages

New Chelsea signing Wesley Fofana has reflected on the 'long, hard' process of sealing his dream transfer from Leicester to the Blues.

Chelsea agreed to pay around £70m to bring the 21-year-old to Stamford Bridge, needing four bids and a lot of effort from Fofana himself to ultimately convince Leicester to sell, but the Frenchman has now arrived in London and is ready to get to work.

Speaking with L'Equipe, he opened up on the past few weeks.

How do you deal with the pressure of your price tag?

"It's a recognition of my work but I try not to think about the price too much because it can quickly put a lot of pressure on me. I have to focus on the pleasure of playing football.

"I'm signing for a very big club, that's for sure, a club known all over the world which has in its DNA winning trophies every year. I haven't made it just yet, only my performances on the pitch will decide that."

Did you ever doubt the move could happen as Leicester dug their feet in?

"It was long and hard, it's true. For at least five weeks, I believed it would happen.

"There were moments of doubt. I asked myself thousands of questions at the beginning: 'Am I making the right choice? Is it too early?'. But I quickly told myself that I was going to realise one of my dreams, to play in one of the biggest clubs in the world.

"I chose with my family and my agents to go. They managed it without stress and explained all the steps to me, even the not so nice moments when [Leicester] were going to turn on me a little. We stayed calm because they knew how to manage it."

Scott SaundersGraeme Bailey,Toby Cudworth and Harry Symeou bring you a live deadline day edition of Talking Transfers. The team welcome Daniel Childs and Julien Laurens to the show to discuss Chelsea's late window activity, Arsenal's pursuit of Douglas Luiz, Paris Saint-Germain's summer signings & much more! The show is also available on all audio platforms.

Why did you fly to New York for a medical?

"I thought I would do it in London but then I found out that it would actually take place in New York. It was a quick trip but I spent a lot of time at the clinic. It was the [Los Angeles] Lakers doctor who supervised all the tests, he looked at everything.

"They examined my ankle, even parts of my body that I can't talk about, to see how I had come back from injury. It lasted more than ten hours, but I guess that's normal given how much they have spent on me. Todd [Boehly] and Behdad [Eghbali] were top. They welcomed me to London and New York like a member of their family."

What impact did Thomas Tuchel have on your decision?

"I came here largely for him. He is a coach that I appreciate, with his management, his way of getting teams to play. There is already a relationship of trust with him.

"Chelsea's system is quite similar to Leicester. He plans to use me in the three-man defence. I can play on the right or in the centre. I'll adapt either way."

Why did you sign a seven-year contract?

"I wanted to show my commitment to the club. I also didn't want any money for my image rights and my agents handled all that perfectly, I didn't want to involve myself with those stories.

"These last three years have been a little crazy for me, a lot of upheaval in my life. Saint-Etienne, Leicester and now Chelsea, where I want to stay for the long term."