According to the French media, Chelsea could be the first club to bid for RB Leipzig attacker Christopher Nkunku this summer.
Chelsea have been linked to a variety of attackers this summer as the aim to improve the Blues’ productivity in the final third remains clear after a frustrating season. Thomas Tuchel inferred as much over this summer’s challenge before the final game of the season over his current squad.
“If we stick to the group, then we will try to solve it with these players,” Tuchel said last Friday. “Is it necessary to bring more offensive players around the box to create more distractions, to create more space for each other? We will ask that question. Can we do better in the structure? Can we push the players more? Did we rotate too much? Let’s see.”
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.
A number of players from the 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.
The former PSG Academy product, who hails from the French capital, has been strongly linked with his boyhood club, but others like Manchester United and Liverpool are certainly watching with keen interest. Chelsea were first linked back in October.
For Nkunku himself, it’s a pretty great situation to be in, and he’s just enjoying all this attention.
“Paris is my home, my favourite club. I don’t close any doors. Everything is possible in football. It’s nice to have the biggest clubs in the world interested in me. But it’s also great to see that Leipzig are doing everything to keep me.”