Chelsea are paying more than the release clause for Christopher Nkunku to make sure they win the race for the RB Leipzig star, a report claims.
The Blues are looking to revamp their attack further following the additions of Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Part-owner Todd Boehly led Chelsea to huge summer investment, but he wants more.
And Chelsea made France international Nkunku a major attacking target. After he signed a new Leipzig contract, though, it remained unclear whether the London club would return for him.
Return for Nkunku they have, with the 24-year-old in fact undergoing a Chelsea medical behind the scenes.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano then claimed that Chelsea needed to discuss a fee with Leipzig. While he has a €60million (£52million) release clause, Romano claimed the Blues could negotiate that fee.
But instead of striking a cheaper deal, The Athletic reporter David Ornstein reports the opposite has happened.
Indeed, Chelsea have agreed to pay Leipzig ‘a price in excess’ of Nkunku’s release clause to make sure they sign him. They feared a potential bidding war for the player, but know Leipzig cannot refuse their over-the-odds offer.
What’s more, the attacker has signed a pre-contract agreement to move to Stamford Bridge next summer.
Reports had talked of interest in Nkunku from elsewhere in the Premier League, particularly Liverpool.
Ornstein confirms that Chelsea have ‘overcome competition’ from ‘other leading English teams’.
Chelsea wanted Nkunku deal secret
Elsewhere, journalist Ekrem Konour had claimed this summer that Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain both also wanted Nkunku.
In his latest update, he reported that Nkunku had ‘many offers’, before picking Chelsea as his next destination.
Meanwhile, Romano claims that “all parties involved in Christoper Nkunku deal wanted to keep [the] Chelsea medical secret”.
But while there is frustration over the news breaking, the Stamford Bridge club look to have tied up a deal for the player.
Nkunku has scored 55 goals and assisted 48 others in 148 games for Leipzig.
But despite Leipzig tying him to a new contract, they realise they are unlikely to get a better offer than Chelsea’s.
Blues making sure of transfers
Chelsea spent a record amount for a Premier League club in a single transfer window in the summer.
And they have wasted no time in setting up an exciting transfer for next summer.
Part-owner Todd Boehly and his Clearlake Capital partners are making statement after statement, it seems.
Nkunku only turns 25 in November, so he will be moving to Stamford Bridge ready to hit his prime in good form.
News of the upcoming deal will no doubt get tongues wagging over who will stay and go from Chelsea’s front line next summer.
Christian Pulisic has a big season ahead of him as the American’s contract expires in 2024.
Hakim Ziyech’s future is also uncertain, with his deal running out in 2025. And the Moroccan had strong links with Ajax and AC Milan this summer.
After Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku left Chelsea this summer, it looks as if another one or two could go next year with Nkunku arriving.