Leicester will only consider a record bid for Wesley Fofana as Chelsea prepare to make a third bid.
Fofana is a priority target for Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who has received offers of £50m and £60m from Leicester this summer.
Chelsea will need to make the French centre-back the world’s most expensive defender for a fee of more than £80m to have any chance of signing him, with Brendan Rodgers revealing his fears over finding a quality replacement.
Although Jamie Vardy is close to signing a new contract to keep him at the club beyond his 37th birthday, Rodgers has admitted the situation with 21-year-old Fofana remains uncertain.
Leicester have also rejected two bids from Newcastle for England international midfielder James Maddison in the past fortnight.
Asked if there was a cut-off point for Leicester to consider any bid, Rodgers said: “That will depend on the ownership, the final decision will be up to them. Even now, it would be late to look to get replacements but it is definitely something that the later it happens, the more difficult it becomes.
“Right now we’re seeing how they’re doing here, working with them, and that’s the only focus.”
Manchester United made Harry Maguire the most expensive defender in August 2019 when they paid Leicester £80m.
Fofana is considered a generational talent and is targeting a place at this year’s World Cup with France.
“Vardy is still hungry and hungry to succeed”
“Another year here for him at least would be huge for his development, but he’s pretty calm and relaxed about the situation,” Rodgers said.
“He’s aware of the interest. He understands where we are as a club and where we see him. He’s just doing his job and training well, and whenever there’s some communication we can have a conversation.”
Vardy, meanwhile, is set to sign a new two-year deal to extend his glorious Leicester career. The forward’s current contract expires next summer, but Leicester have reached a verbal agreement over another extension.
Vardy, 35, has proved a revelation since his £1million move from Fleetwood Town in 2012, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Golden Boot while also becoming an international of England
Rodgers said: “He still looks strong, he still looks fit and of course we assess that every week as we go forward. Jamie is really determined, he has a real hunger and hunger to succeed, which is important.”
Leicester are poised to make their first signing of the summer, with former Cardiff goalkeeper Alex Smithies, 32, in talks over a free transfer.
Midfielder Boubakary Soumare is a target for Ligue 1 club Monaco, while Jannik Vestergaard has rejected an £11million move to Fulham.
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