Chelsea’s efforts to sign Jules Kounde have been severely hampered by a number of issues, while Christopher Nkunku’s price tag has been set at £100m and Man City are going after a midfielder, all in Tuesday’s gossip.
JULES KOUNDE ISSUES FOR CHELSEA
Chelsea’s hopes of landing Jules Kounde have taken a battering.
The centre-back, who was a target for the Blues last summer, was subbed off at half-time in France’s defeat to Croatia on Monday.
Kounde, who lined up a right-back, had to be withdrawn due to injury. And it turns out the defender has been struggling with an injury problem for several months.
But the player will now undergo surgery.
“I knew very well his physical condition today,” said Didier Deschamps when asked about Kounde.
“Tomorrow [Tuesday] he will have a [surgical] intervention because he has a problem that has been going on for several months.”
That surgery may well postpone Chelsea’s move for the defender, whom they bid for twice last summer.
And to make matters worse Barcelona are also looking at the player for next season.
Xavi Hernandez has reportedly met with Gerard Pique and told the centre-back that he will not be his first choice next season.
A report by Diario Sport claims Xavi sees Sevilla’s Kounde as the man to come and partner Ronald Araujo.
Meanwhile, Rudy Galetti claims Chelsea have been joined in the race for Kounde by German giants Bayern Munich.
It all points to a very complicated situation for Thomas Tuchel, who could see Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso all leave this summer.
NKUNKU PRICE TAG
RB Leipzig have set the price tag of in-demand striker Christopher Nkunku at £100m, according to The Independent.
Nkunku, who blasted 20 goals and grabbed 14 assists in 33 Bundesliga games last season is a wanted man. Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain have all looked into adding the 24-year-old to their squads.
But it now seems as though Leipzig have convinced the forward to stay with the club.
Nkunku is not totally off the market and if any suitors are willing to put up£100m for the player then a deal could still be done. But the France international is now expected to sign a contract extension, complete with a release clause.
That huge price tag is likely to put off Manchester United, who withdrew from the running to sign Darwin Nunez over his £85m price tag.
Whether Arsenal would be prepared to go to nine figures remains to be seen. They are desperate for a frontman having seen Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng and Alexandre Lacazette both leave.
CITY GO AFTER KP
Manchester City will now turn their attentions to a midfielder after officially unveiling Erling Haaland on Monday.
City announced last month they had agreed a deal with Borussia Dortmund for the Norway striker. But yesterday they confirmed the £51m deal. And City unveiled the 21-year-old, who will join on July 1 having signed a five-year deal until 2027.
Now The Times claims City chiefs have switched their focus to a central midfielder with Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips their “preferred target”.
What’s more City will try and get a deal over the line before they head off to America on their pre-season tour in the middle of July.
It’s understood Phillips, who has two years left on his Elland Road deal, is in no rush to leave his boyhood club.
However, a huge bid and attractive personal terms could tempt the ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’ into switching allegiances.
City chiefs will hope that Pep Guardiola’s pulling power could sway Phillips into leaving his beloved Leeds.