Chelsea target Christopher Nkunku signs new RB Leipzig deal until 2026
Journalist Fabrizio Romano has shed more light on the details of Nkunku’s new deal, and a €60m release clause will be in effect next year onwards. That value could however rise owing to other clauses. It more or less closes the door on the Frenchman moving elsewhere this summer.
Chelsea have been one of the clubs most interested in Nkunku due to obvious reasons. The Blues are starting to focus more on the transfer market following their backroom reshuffle, but it seems like any desire to bring Nkunku to Stamford Bridge will have to wait at least another year.
Chelsea and Leipzig have done business in the past while negotiating a transfer for Timo Werner two years ago. Nkunku had been identified as the man to solve Chelsea’s goal-scoring crisis and going by his numbers, it’s easy to see why.
Transitioning from midfield to playing up front, Nkunku scored a staggering 35 goals and provided 19 assists in 50 appearances across all competitions. The 24-year-old’s versatility makes him a valuable asset to any manager, and Thomas Tuchel will be well aware of the young Frenchman’s profile.
Nkunku was voted the 2021-22 Bundesliga player of the season and helped Leipzig win the DFB Pokal in May – when he scored a 76th-minute equaliser against SC Freiburg in the final. Leipzig went on to win 4-2 on penalties.
A setback for Chelsea, but there are bigger issues
This effectively means that Chelsea can strike Nkunku off their shopping list for this summer, but can of course come back next year when the release clause comes into effect.
Between now and then, Chelsea have a lot of business to conduct. The Blues need to finalise deals for long-term target Jules Kounde and recently-linked Raheem Sterling, whilst also acting formally on their interest for Leeds United star Raphinha.
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If Chelsea can assemble a title-winning squad and should they go on to have an outstanding season, it will become even easier to strike a deal for Nkunku next year. For this window, however, the Blues need to look elsewhere and start getting some deals over the line.
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