Premier League • England

Christopher Nkunku: Liverpool chances of beating Chelsea to transfer prompt strong Fabrizio Romano response

Christopher Nkunku of RB Leipzig celebrates after scoring his third goal for RB Leipzig in the 73rd minute to make the score 4-3 to City

RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku looks destined to move to the Premier League in 2023 – but whether it will be at Chelsea or Liverpool has seen transfer guru Fabrizio Romano offer a big update.

The eight-times capped France star finds himself as one of European football’s most in-demand stars. Having scored 59 goals in 154 appearances for Leipzig – from an attacking midfield position – has marked him out as a player of genuine quality.

As a result, interest in Nkunku is high, with the 24-year-old attracting attention from a number of Europe’s top clubs. However, it is a move to Chelsea which looks the most likely.

The Blues, under ambitious new co-owner Todd Boehly, appear to have stolen a march on their rivals. That’s amid claims that Chelsea already have a deal in place to sign Nkunku in 2023 and will pay over and above the £52.8m (€60m) exit clause in his contract.

Those reports are furthering gathering pace, amid claims Nkunku has already undergone a Chelsea medical behind the scenes.

News of the leaking of that prospective agreement, though, appears to have angered Chelsea. And with nothing officially signed, the Blues do not seemingly have a free run at signing the forward.

To that end, reports of late have suggested Liverpool are also monitoring the situation and planning an offer of their own.

Jurgen Klopp is reportedly a huge fan of the Frenchman and sees him as an ideal replacement for the departing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The former Arsenal man is out of contract next summer and likely to leave after an injury-hit spell on Merseyside.

As a result, Klopp remains adamant he wants to add more goals to his side from midfield.

Chelsea still in Christopher Nkunku driving seat

However, Romano is convinced that Chelsea remain in control of the transfer.

The trusted reporter insists the Blues are ‘waiting to sign’ the star. And he indicates everything is in place to take Nkunku to Stamford Bridge.

“It’s important to mention that Chelsea have everything under control,” Romano told Caught Offside. “He’s agreed in principle to join, he’s had a medical with Chelsea, and he’s waiting to sign his contract.

“Everyone who’s joining Chelsea all agree that Nkunku will be an excellent signing for the Blues.

“Just a reminder – Chelsea don’t plan to meet Nkunku’s €60m release clause, they plan to reach a different agreement.”

As such, Liverpool will likely need to look elsewhere in their quest to strengthen their midfield. Truth be told, it would be hard to see how Liverpool would accommodate Nkunku into their side. Indeed, their 4-3-3 formation is more suited to bringing the best out of their attackers.

Chelsea, on the other hand, tend to operate with a sole frontman and three attackers behind in a 4-2-3-1 set-up. As such, that is much more similar to the way Leipzig operate and would be better suited to getting the best out of Nkunku.

Chelsea, though, will hope he fares better than their last big-money signing from RB Leipzig in Timo Werner.

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