Manchester United could soon make their first bid for Christopher Nkunku as Chelsea stall in the race for the RB Leipzig star, according to a report.
Both Premier League clubs have made attacking signings a key priority of the upcoming transfer window. New Red Devils boss Erik ten Hag is planning an overhaul at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Chelsea have had an overhaul of their ownership structure and will soon have a sizeable transfer kitty.
Reports in recent weeks have claimed that French attacker Nkunku is on both teams’ transfer radar.
Former Man Utd interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who is moving into a consultancy role at the club, has supposedly recommended Nkunku to Old Trafford chiefs following his ties to the player at RB Leipzig.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, is looking to freshen up his attacking ranks ahead of a hopefully more successful charge at the Premier League title next season.
According to Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, United have “good contact” with Nkunku’s representatives.
Indeed, a United bid for the 24-year-old “could arrive in Leipzig next week”. United chiefs “rate him as very good” amid Rangnick’s recommendation.
However, Leipzig “still won’t sell” as Nkunku has two years left on his contract. What’s more, Plettenberg has previously revealed that an offer of a contract extension for the two-cap France star is on the table.
But if Leipzig’s firm stance puts United on the back foot, at least they are in a position to make a bid – unlike Chelsea.
Goal reported on Wednesday how the Blues must offload one or more of Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic.
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel likes to rotate the trio in his wide positions. Still, that has done nothing to settle their frustrations at a lack of game time.
They are therefore facing the prospect of having to sell to buy up front.
Nkunku would strengthen Man Utd
At Chelsea, Ziyech, Werner and Pulisic are all under contract until 2024 at the earliest.
That is without mentioning Kai Havertz, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Romelu Lukaku.
United, meanwhile, already have a space to fill after Edinson Cavani’s exit as a free agent. Thirty-seven-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo will not be around for much longer either.
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That leaves Jadon Sancho, who is still finding his feet, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Elanga as the other senior options up front as it stands for Ten Hag.
A move for Nkunku would therefore make sense, as Man Utd are in need of a striker. Nkunku played 28 games this season either as a centre-forward or a second striker.
He netted 35 goals in 51 games. That is a fearsome record that puts him up there with the most prolific goalscorers in Europe.