Fabrizio Romano’s lowdown on Maguire, Fofana & Aubameyang

Fabrizio Romano has given the lowdown on the state of play at Chelsea as they approach the final week of the transfer window.

The transfer specialist has outlined their stance on reported targets Harry Maguire, Wesley Fofana and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It’s been a summer of upheaval at Chelsea, who have heavily invested in youth and brought in big-name players like Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly and Raheem Sterling in order to fill the gaps left by Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger, Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku.

But under new president Todd Boehly, the club will continue to work until the transfer window deadline to supplement the defensive and forward options in Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

It’s long been established that Leicester centre-back Wesley Fofana is their top target after they had a sizeable fee turned down last week.

The 21-year-old Frenchman was left off of Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes teamsheet on Saturday in the 2-1 defeat to Southampton. Leicester are reportedly holding out for a world-record fee for a defender if they’re to allow him to go.

Other surprising reports have suggested that Chelsea view Manchester United captain Maguire as an alternative option to Fofana.

The England international moved to Old Trafford for an £80million fee from Leicester back in 2019, but he faced a barrage of criticism for his performances during United’s struggles last season.

Another surprise name to emerge is that of Aubameyang. The 33-year-old striker scored 68 goals in 128 Premier League appearances for Arsenal before having his contract terminated in January 2022.

He’s since scored 11 goals in 18 La Liga appearances for Barcelona, but the Catalan club are reportedly happy to let him return to England following the summer signing of Robert Lewandowski.

Ironically, were Chelsea to sign Aubameyang – or fellow transfer target Frenkie de Jong, for that matter – they’d be doing Barcelona a favour, reducing their wage bill to allow the club to register centre-back Jules Kounde.

Barcelona gazumped Chelsea to sign Kounde from Sevilla earlier this summer, which has led to the Blues exploring potential deals for Fofana and Maguire.

“Many Chelsea fans are asking me about Maguire and the answer I’m getting is always the same: Wesley Fofana is the priority,” began Romano.

“In this transfer window in the final days, they want to sign Fofana. They will try again with Leicester through intermediaries. So let’s see how much they bid, if Leicester change their stance on Fofana – untouchable.

“The deal with Aubameyang is still going. It’s still a negotiation. But there is still no agreement as Barcelona want Marcos Alonso but Barcelona want Alonso to be discussed in a separate deal, not the same one as Aubameyang. And they don’t want to spend more than £15million.

“So let’s see what happens with Aubameyang, but Chelsea will be back with a new proposal for Fofana and will be pushing again for a striker.

“Aubameyang, and other positions, we have to keep an eye on Chelsea, because it was a really disappointing result with Leeds and they need some new signings for Thomas Tuchel.”

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