Chelsea have taken the lead in the race to sign Borussia Dortmund starlet Youssoufa Moukoko, according to respected reporter David Ornstein.
Moukoko is enjoying a breakout season in the Bundesliga. He has already matched his appearance tally in all competitions from last season. What’s more, with six goals from his 22 outings, this is the most prolific campaign of his blossoming career.
Having only recently turned 18, the sky could be the limit for Moukoko. The next step in his career might come in 2023, since his contract expires at the end of the season.
It has led to links with the likes of Liverpool, who could bring him to the Premier League. Man Utd have also been tipped to make a move for the Germany international, who was in his country’s World Cup squad and became their youngest player to grace such a stage.
But according to Ornstein, writing for The Athletic, there is a growing realisation among the interested parties that Chelsea could be in the lead to sign Moukoko.
Ornstein wrote that “Chelsea are exploring the possibility of bringing Youssoufa Moukoko to Stamford Bridge.”
Their interest comes in the aftermath of an injury suffered by Armando Broja during a mid-season friendly over the weekend. The Albania international could be out for a while after leaving the pitch on a stretcher.
Ornstein added: “A move to Chelsea is certainly not done but other Premier League clubs are under the impression it is advanced and are watching closely, given it may have implications for the availability of Armando Broja, who was taken off the field on a stretcher during a friendly against Aston Villa in Dubai on Sunday.”
Although a summer deal would be the cheapest option, Chelsea might even bring forward their plans to January.
The journalist concluded: “There is a school of thought that Chelsea are doing the groundwork for a summer deal ahead of time, but may find a way to bring him to west London next month.”
January move for Moukoko makes sense for Chelsea
To do so, Chelsea would have to come up with an offer to Borussia Dortmund. It remains unclear how much money would tempt the Bundesliga club into a sale.
Adding Moukoko to their squad in January might be beneficial for Chelsea. Of all the clubs currently in the top half of the Premier League, they have scored the fewest goals this season.
They signed former Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona in the summer. However, he will not be a long-term solution.
Broja, meanwhile, has attracted interest from elsewhere, but now must focus on his recovery from injury.
With Chelsea light on other options, it makes sense to replenish their attack at the earliest opportunity. They are also expecting to sign another high-scoring Bundesliga talent, RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku.
Therefore, they might have more cutting edge in 2023. Chelsea might require a degree of patience with someone like Moukoko due to his young age. But he certainly has the potential to flourish over time.
And by accelerating their interest, they may reduce the risk of losing him to a rival suitor. By January, Moukoko will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with any of his admirers outside Germany ahead of the summer.
Hence, Chelsea need to convince him that Stamford Bridge is the place to be. But if they can, then beating the competition by bidding in January would be ideal.