Christopher Nkunku makes decision on future as Man Utd and Chelsea learn release clause

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Forward Christopher Nkunku is a target for Manchester United and Chelsea this summer transfer window after an extraordinary campaign with RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga

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Manchester United and Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow to their hopes of signing Christopher Nkunku as the Frenchman has signed a new contract at RB Leipzig – although the prospect of a deal is not quite yet dead.

The forward, 24, was linked with a switch to Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge this summer after a sensational season. He scored 35 goals in all competitions for Leipzig last term while also providing 19 assists.

Despite rumors that he could leave, Nkunku has been elected to extend his stay in Germany by penning a new deal which is set to run until the summer of 2026.

Speaking about the decision to commit his future to his current employers, the reigning Bundesliga player of the season said: “I’m happy to continue wearing the RB Leipzig shirt. After the great success in the DFB Cup, it was clear: my path does not end here – we want more!

“I was really impressed by how the club took care of me. So a big thank you to all those responsible for the trust and especially to [RB Leipzig CEO] Oliver Mintzlaff, with whom I was always in close contact.

“RB Leipzig has made a name for itself internationally in recent years and has repeatedly confirmed that we can play for titles. In the future we want to build on this and go one step further.”

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Christopher Nkunku helped Leipzig win the DFB-Pokal last season
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Image:

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Meanwhile, Leipzig’s technical director, Christopher Vivell, has claimed that Nkunku is already one of the most exciting players in world football, so he is delighted to have retained his services.

He said: “We are proud and happy to be able to keep one of the world’s best players in Leipzig. There are only a few players who embody speed, playfulness and a strong mentality like Christo.

“Added to this is his outstanding scoring quota this season. Christo has developed into a top player in the Bundesliga in Leipzig and has now also established himself in the French national team. We want to continue writing this success story together.”

Whilst the news of Nkunku signing a new deal is undoubtedly a blow for United and Chelsea, it appears that the prospect of a transfer might actually still be on the table. Reports in Germany have suggested that a € 60m (£ 51.6m) release clause has been written into the new deal.

That is far cheaper than the eye-watering £ 100million sum that Leipzig previously placed on their star forward. The clause only becomes active in the summer of 2023, though, meaning any interested Premier League clubs will have to wait at least 12 months before pursuing a move – unless they intend to pay over the odds.

The English duo also faced competition from elsewhere in Europe, with Paris Saint-Germain eyeing a swoop for their former forward. Nkunku left the French capital in 2019 having accumulated 78 appearances for the Ligue 1 giants, scoring 11 goals.

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