Chelsea are preparing to move for Christopher Nkunku next summer after it emerged they conducted an initial medical check on the RB Leipzig forward during the last transfer window.
Nkunku, whose contract is believed to contain a €60 million (£52.8 million) release clause, is understood to have undergone the tests with a member of Chelsea’s medical staff present. The 24-year-old is expected to leave Leipzig at the end of the season and Chelsea, who were interested last summer, are attempting to jump to the head of the queue.
Chelsea are keen to improve their forward options despite spending big on Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last summer. Nkunku scored 35 goals last season and has started this campaign by scoring six times in 11 games. There could be fierce competition for the France international, who has also been linked with Paris Saint-Germain. Nkunku can play in a variety of positions across the front line and his versatility would be appealing to Graham Potter.
Chelsea did business with Leipzig last summer, selling the Germany striker Timo Werner back to the Bundesliga side. They also made an unsuccessful attempt to sign the Croatia centre back Josko Gvardiol, who could be a target for Potter next year.
Chelsea are one of the big clubs looking to enter the hotly contested race to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. However Liverpool and Real Madrid are currently believed to have a better chance of buying the England midfielder. Manchester City and Manchester United are also interested in the 19-year-old, who sparkled during England’s 3-3 draw with Germany.
As well as trying to plan for next summer Chelsea are looking to make changes to their infrastructure. They hope to appoint a sporting director and technical director soon. Leipzig’s Christopher Vivell and Brighton & Hove Albion’s Paul Winstanley have emerged as candidates for the technical director role.
Chelsea had hoped to appoint RB Salzburg’s Christoph Freund as their sporting director, only for the move to break down. They have since held talks with Tim Steidten, but it is unclear whether the German wants to leave Bayer Leverkusen. There is also interest in Leeds United’s Victor Orta and they have been linked with Atalanta’s Lee Congerton. — Guardian