Chelsea close to agreeing 2023 deal for RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku

Chelsea prepared to pay more than €60m release clause for French forward

Chelsea are pushing to finalise a pre-contract agreement with Christopher Nkunku and are willing to sign the RB Leipzig forward next summer for more than his €60 million release clause.

It emerged last week that Nkunku underwent medical checks with Chelsea at the end of the previous transfer window. The 24-year-old can play in a number of positions across the front line and Chelsea are attempting to see off competition for the France international. They could do so by offering Leipzig more than Nkunku’s release clause.

Sources have indicated no contracts have been signed but there is widespread confidence that Nkunku will become a Chelsea player. The Frenchman scored 35 goals for Leipzig last season and has opened this campaign with eight goals in 12 appearances. Nkunku, who has been linked with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain, scored twice as Leipzig ran out 4-0 winners over Bochum in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Chelsea are rebuilding their attack. They sold Timo Werner back to Leipzig in August, loaned Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan and were open to selling Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech. A lack of ruthlessness let them down last season and they looked to solve their goalscoring woes by signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling.


Aubameyang scored his first goal in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, and Sterling has found the net four times since his move from Manchester City, but Chelsea want to add Nkunku.

Chelsea, who are looking to appoint a sporting director and a technical director, also made a late attempt to sign the Leipzig centre back Josko Gvardiol. They are likely to renew their interest in the Croatia international, with a move for him possible in January. – Guardian