Christopher Nkunku is one of a number of attacking Chelsea players are looking ahead of the summer transfer window. football.london recently reported that the Blues hold a long-term interest in the RB Leipzig attacker, who set the Bundesliga alight last season.
Nkunku scored 20 goals, assisted 15 times in the German top-flight in the 2021/22 campaign, and was named the league’s best player. 35 direct goal contributions is no joke, and Chelsea are one of numerous clubs hoping he will join them this summer and offer a similar output.
Paris Saint-Germain, who sold the 24-year-old back in July 2019 to Leipzig for £ 11.7million, are one of those clubs keen on signing the Frenchman. Nkunku, football.london understands, is currently in talks with Leipzig over signing a new contract, with his current deal at the Red Bull Arena expiring in the summer of 2024.
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Leipzig wants to tie Nkunku down to a new deal and are adamant he will not be sold this summer. The German club’s chief executive, Oliver Mintzlaff, told Sky Germany in April: “I’ve said it many times, and I’m happy to say it again: Nkunku will still be our player in the coming season.
“He was already one of our best players in the first half of the season, even though it did not go well for us, as we all know. He has ignited the next stage of his development here under Domenico Tedesco, and he will continue to do so in the coming season. “
The Bundesliga outfit, though, have become somewhat of a selling club in recent seasons. Deals such as Timo Werner to Chelsea, Naby Keita to Liverpool and Dayot Upamecano to Bayern Munich are just three of a long list of big-money exits from the Red Bull Arena in recent seasons.
Chelsea and PSG will know that and will not be put off by Mintzlaff’s comments from earlier in the year. The Blues cannot offer the kind of financial pull that PSG can, but there are other areas they can take advantage of in the pursuit of Nkunku.
As per Italian football journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, when speaking to wettfreunde, PSG’s imminent sacking of Mauricio Pochettino could cause some issues in the French champions’ pursuit of Nkunku. “I know that in Paris, they would like to have him [Nkunku] back, “Di Marzio said.
“It depends on what PSG will want to do in the team. If they will have [Luis] Campos as director. If they will have Zinedine Zidane as a coach or another coach. “If you do not know who is the sporting director or who is the coach, it is difficult to say what is the strategy of the club.”
Di Marzio added: “I was in Paris during the Champions League final, and I know the PSG fans would like to have more PSG-grown players in the team. They miss Nkunku and [Arnauld] Kalimuendo and all these players. They want them back in the team.
“I think that more French players in the team would help PSG to get closer to the fans. At this moment, there are some difficulties in empathy, in the feeling, in the relationship with the fans.”
Nkunku himself recently hinted that he may favor a return to Paris over the summer transfer window. He said to L’Equipe: “It’s flattering to have the biggest clubs in the world interested in me. But it’s also flattering to have Leipzig doing everything they can to keep me.
“Here we are in June, in the national team, and I’m focused on this gathering [with the French national team]. The transfer window is not open, I do not focus on it.
“Afterwards, as I have always said, PSG is my home, my heart club, where I was trained. I do not close any doors. Everything is possible in football.”