Brendan Rodgers has accused Wesley Fofana’s representatives of taking a “cheap shot” at him after a social media post by the defender hit out at the Leicester manager.
Fofana’s farewell message on Instagram after completing a £70m move to Chelsea on Wednesday contained an incendiary line that said Rodgers had “chose to expose me a lot lately”. Leicester reluctantly sanctioned the sale of the centre-back after he made his desire to depart clear, despite signing a new five-year contract in March.
Rodgers previously said Fofana was the subject of “different pressures from different people behind the scenes” and suggested such duress can lead players to make decisions “maybe they don’t want to make”. Leicester had hoped to keep hold of Fofana until at least next summer.
Rodgers said he had a healthy relationship with Fofana and is adamant his parting message did not come from the player. “I would say the post didn’t come from Wesley, I know that for sure because I’ve had other experiences where I had a message from Wesley which I knew wasn’t from Wesley,” he said.
“The post was probably a cheap shot towards the end from people and representatives, rather than him. The kid is a great lad. He was brilliant for me. I am not happy that he has left because I’ve lost a top player but I’m not going to sit here and destroy a young guy at 21 years of age who gave me everything when I know really where the message has come from. We’re sad he has gone, we wish him all the very best and we’ll move on.”
Rodgers hinted that he and Leicester deserved greater respect after signing Fofana from Saint-Étienne and developing him into one of the world’s most highly regarded defenders. Fofana’s replacement, Wout Faes, a £15m signing from Reims, could make his debut at Brighton on Sunday with Leicester searching for their first league win of the season to help them move off the bottom.
“I think he said in one of his interviews that I was a father figure for him,” Rodgers added of Fofana. “I’ve strong relations with him, a brilliant player, a guy who came off the streets and came on to this stage and he was brilliant for us. Hopefully we can produce some more of them.”