US News Wesley Fofana goes to Leicester, a record for Saint-Etienne
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The soap opera is finally over: Saint-Etienne and Leicester agreed on Tuesday on the transfer of young French defender Wesley Fofana to the English club for a transaction of a record amount for the Greens in terms of transfer of players. The two clubs would have agreed according to the specialized press on an amount of approximately 40 million euros, including 5 million € of bonus, but the transfer will not be formalized until after the traditional medical examination that Fofana (19 years old) should pass on Wednesday before signing a five-year contract.
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The sale to Arsenal of another defender in the summer of 2019, William Saliba, aged 19, had concluded on an amount of 25 million euros and 5 million euros in bonuses. At the time, ASSE had obtained that Saliba be loaned to him last season, but the player was unable to play in the final of the Coupe de France against PSG on July 24.
This will not be the case for Wesley Fofana, originally from the Marseille region, trained with the Greens where he arrived in 2015 and who had extended his contract on April 21 until 2024. His departure to Leicester, current leader of the English Championship, which had to face competition from West Ham, was the subject of long negotiations which began at the beginning of the summer and during which the sale price climbed from € 25m to € 40m .
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Financial reason prevails
Enough to weaken the long inflexible position of general manager Claude Puel who refused this departure and who would have preferred to give it up at the end of this season. But the decision to sell was taken "collegially" by the Management Board, which includes Puel and the shareholders (Bernard Caïazzo and Roland Romeyer), underlines the press release from the Saint-Etienne club, which accepted the offer "given the context uncertain economy generated by the health crisis ”. In the meantime, ASSE is losing genuine hope which was definitely launched at the highest level by Claude Puel last season.
Wesley Fofana, who is not yet international hopes after winning the Gambardella Cup in 2019, had time to play, last season, 14 Ligue 1 matches (four for 2020-2021) and six in the Coupe de France including the final, two in the League Cup and two in the Europa League. He had also participated in two meetings in 2018-2019 under the direction of Jean-Louis Gasset. "At only 19 years old, he is now considered one of the greatest French talents of his generation", recognizes ASSE in its press release.
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