Chelsea will try to negotiate a fee Christopher Nkunku before resorting to his RB Leipzig release clause next summer, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Blues are going after the France forward after bolstering their front line in the most recent transfer window. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling arrived, but Chelsea want further additions.
They also want to drive the average age of their front line down with 24-year-old Nkunku, who has eight France caps.
Chelsea in fact organised a medical for the attacker behind the scenes this summer. Nkunku underwent tests in Frankfurt a month ago, with the London club wanting to seal the signing quietly.
But, since the reveal, talk of the deal next summer has ramped up. Nkunku, tellingly, has a €60million (£52million) release clause in his contract.
According to transfer expert Romano, though, Chelsea will try to negotiate the fee for a player who is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge.
“This doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, the medical took place a few weeks ago, and Chelsea have sent a proposal to the player, which he’s happy with. But with RB Leipzig, there is still work to do on an agreement.
“I’m told that Chelsea will try to discuss a fee with Leipzig, before activating the clause in June 2023; so it’s possible they will discuss different price tag or payment terms.
“As of now, Chelsea are pushing and are leading the race, also on the player’s side.”
Subsequent reports have talked of Liverpool transfer interest in Nkunku for next summer. He has scored eight goals in 12 games in all competitions this season.
Nkunku an exciting transfer prospect
Nkunku initially made his name at Paris Saint-Germain before making the move to Leipzig in the summer of 2019.
He did not enjoy the most prolific form with the French giants, only scoring 11 goals and assisting four others.
Nevertheless, he has become a dangerous threat at Leipzig having scored 55 goals and laid on 48 others for team-mates.
Nkunku has not just proved a solid goalscoring force, but he has kept his assists tally moving alongside those goals in another exciting sign of his all-round influence.
There is no doubt he would be an exciting prospect for the Premier League. At only 24, a new contract elsewhere – perhaps Chelsea – would see him go through to his prime years.
This season, though, Nkunku will be focusing on cementing his progress at Leipzig.
With eight France caps to his name, he will want a role for his country at the World Cup, so he has work to do to continue to prove himself this term.
Leipzig will no doubt accept his exit next summer, knowing they got the best out of the player for a good few years. And Leipzig will no doubt find the next exciting talent across Europe, as is their way.