Chelsea’s attempts to sign highly-rated RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku have suffered a setback, claims a report.
Nkunku, who boasts incredible starts in Germany this season, won the Bundesliga Player of the Year. It’s hardly surprising after he blasted 35 goals and recorded 20 assists from 52 games.
The 24-year-old is in contract negotiations with the DFB-Pokal winners. His contract expires in two seasons and Leipzig are well aware that he is attracting interest from across Europe.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with Nkunku, although whether that interest emanated from Ralf Rangnick is unclear. Rangnick, a former Leipzig boss, is well connected at the Bundesliga club and he has the connections to get a deal done.
German outlet Bild have reported United have spoken to Leipzig about a move. But Goal also suggest Chelsea are interested and “believe they are able to disrupt” the German club’s contract talks.
Nkunku’s value is thought to be around £60m to £70m and he does not hold a release clause in his contract.
Chelsea though know they must offload some players first, before they strengthen their hand.
The club are still waiting for the finer points of their takeover from Todd Boehly to be completed. The Premier League says the consortium has passed its owner’s and directors’ test and the purchase now remains subject to the Government issuing the licence.
Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Armando Broja and Hakim Ziyech are a few of the players who could be moved on. Romelu Lukaku has also failed to fulfil his potential at Stamford Bridge.
Borussia Dortmund had been interested in signing Werner. But Goal claim they now “appear to have gone cold on a deal over cost”.
Chelsea’s priority is to sell
Werner was a £50m signing two seasons ago and he has also struggled to make a significant impact in the capital.
Thomas Tuchel wants Christopher Nkunku at Chelsea
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel wants to sign Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig this summer
The Germany international is also one of the Blues’ highest paid players on around £275,000-a-week. And so any deal for BvB will not come cheaply. Any outgoing transfers does appear to be key in the club’s efforts to bring in another forward.
The outlet do claim that the Chelsea situation is a fluid one. And once their licence is granted and if they move players out, they could move quickly.
Outgoing Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski is also admired at Stamford Bridge. Links to the Poland striker have emerged in the last few months, with Barcelona reported to be keen on the 33-year-old.
What is clear is that Thomas Tuchel considers the summer business as a “rebuild”. And a new central defender is said to be the club’s priority.
“We are rebuilding, not improving the squad. This is always challenging but we are up for the challenge,” said Tuchel last earlier this month.