Exclusive - Leicester City have made 19-year-old Saint-Etienne centre-back Wesley Fofana their top defensive target for the summer transfer window.
With Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan now 32 and 36 respectively, Brendan Rodgers is keen to find some reinforcements this summer, with Çağlar Söyüncü and Filip Benković the only other natural centre-backs in Leicester's squad.
Rodgers has looked at Burnley's James Tarkowski but has baulked at his £50m asking price. Celtic's Kristoffer Ajer, who moved to Scotland just a few months before Rodgers in 2016, has also been scouted, but a source has confirmed to 90min that Fofana is the man Leicester are focused on.
Talks are already underway between the two sides, with Saint-Étienne holding out for just under £20m to part ways with their young star.
Sources close to the situation have told 90min that progress has been made in the last 48 hours and Leicester are hopeful of agreeing a deal before in the coming days.
Fofana was promoted to the first team at Saint-Étienne midway through last season and quickly established himself as a regular starter. 22 of his 24 appearances came from the opening whistle, including a start in the Coupe de France final defeat at the hands of Paris Saint-Germain.
He looks set to carry that momentum over into the new season, playing the full 90 minutes of Saint-Étienne's recent 2-0 win over Lorient, and the French side are well aware of his potential.
Leicester scouts were hugely impressed by the towering teenager and have encouraged Rodgers to prioritise a move for Fofana over any other target, and the boss is prepared to listen and push ahead with a big move.Rodgers is well aware that his centre-back options are thin, and while he still has faith in Evans and Morgan's abilities, there is an acceptance that neither player has much longer left at the top.
24-year-old Söyüncü is expected to be a core part of the Foxes' defence for years to come, but Benković still needs to prove he deserves a spot alongside the Turk. He has just returned from a loan spell with Bristol City and has just two cup appearances for Leicester to his name since joining in 2018.