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Chelsea could be first club to bid for Christopher Nkunku

Chelsea could be the first club to bid for RB Leipzig attacker Christopher Nkunku this summer, French publication L’Equipe claims.

The west London giants finished third in the Premier League last season, 19 points adrift of Manchester City, who went on to win their fourth title in five years.

Thomas Tuchel’s side were fancied to offer strong competition, but dropped off during the festive period as they struggled to find the cutting edge in the final third.

Romelu Lukaku was a huge disappointment after his big-money move from Inter, bagging just eight league goals. There are already suggestions of him leaving.

Amidst this, L’Equipe report that Chelsea have been long-term admirers of Nkunku, and they could be the first club to make a bid during the summer transfer window.

Leipzig remain reluctant to lose his services, but a significant offer could test their resolve. Manchester United have also been credited with an interest in the forward.

Our view:

Nkunku had a spectacular 2021/22 campaign with Leipzig, registering 35 goals and 20 assists from 51 games.

The 24-year-old started the season as an attacking midfielder or wide attacker, but regularly played as a second striker during the backend amid his exceptional goal returns.

He ended the campaign on a strong note, helping Leipzig to a top-four finish. He also scored a vital equaliser in the DFB Pokal Cup final before Leipzig won on penalties.

The Bundesliga outfit are obviously determined to keep him for another campaign, and there are suggestions that they could include a reasonable buy-out clause in a new deal.

thomas tuchel chelsea

Hence, a transfer will be difficult for any club, but Chelsea could be best placed to sign him with manager Tuchel set to be handed a significant transfer budget of around £200m.

A major chunk of the transfer kitty could be focused on bolstering the backline with the departures of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen, but a forward could also be pursued.

Nkunku is valued at £58.5 million by Transfermarkt, but it may take a higher figure to persuade Leipzig. The Blues should still be wary of spending such a sum based on recent experience.

A number of players from Bundesliga including Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner have found it hard to impress in England. Werner joined the Blues in 2020 after a similar season as Nkunku.

Nkunku has benefitted from playing against Bundesliga teams with higher defensive lines, but may not have similar success against the low block adopted by several Premier League teams.

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