LEICESTER BOSS Brendan Rodgers has said Chelsea target Wesley Fofana was left out of the matchday squad after failing to show up for first-team training last week and working with the U23s.
After being left out of the squad for Saturday’s 2-1 Premier League loss to Southampton, with Rodgers claiming the defender was not in the right frame of mind to play, Fofana was out again on Tuesday as the Foxes advanced to the Carabao Cup third round with a 3-1 penalty shootout win at Stockport.
Before the game, it was reported that Leicester had turned down a third bird from Chelsea for Fofana, and Rodgers said in his post-match press conference: “An offer has been sent and it has been rejected.
“Other than that, I’m not 100% on the other details as we were focused on the game.”
Rodgers went on to reveal that the 21-year-old Frenchman last week ‘didn’t show up for training one day – hence the reason for the weekend, not being involved’.
And he said: “He’s been training with the U23s so he can prepare for football and keep working. It’s so important at this stage to control any kind of distractions that might be there.
“He’s a good lad, it’s just been a really difficult situation for him. I’ve had it a few times in my career where there are players who can deal with it, deal with it, keep going, want to help their There are others who just can’t handle the distraction.
“Of course it distracts them and that’s not quite fair, and they miss a training session, so you need the full commitment of your players.
“These guys are well paid. The least you can do is introduce yourself. And if you don’t, with all due respect, you can’t just think you can fit into our group.
“But like I say, day to day he’s a good boy – it’s just been hard for him to deal with it all, and as long as he’s in that mindset, it’s been hard for him to to play.”
Rodgers added that while the situation regarding Fofana’s valuation was up to the club, he hoped for a quick resolution one way or another.
He said: “Of course, if that (his departure) happens, the sooner the better because it might allow us to do some work (in the transfer window).”
After being admirably held at bay by League Two Stockport for 90 minutes to a 0-0 draw, Leicester prevailed in a shootout that saw debutant keeper Daniel Iversen make three saves.
The hosts are currently 21st in the fourth tier, having returned to the Football League this season after an 11-year absence.
Hatters boss Dave Challinor said: “A brilliant night without the dream ending if you will, but really proud of the effort we’ve put in.
“To bring a Premier League side to the penalty shootout is a great achievement, just a shame we couldn’t go there and make it an amazing night rather than a great one.”