RB Leipzig chief hopeful United target Christian Nkunku will stay put


Manchester United face a two-pronged threat in pursuit of prolific forward Christian Nkunku.

ESPN reported earlier this year that Nkunku was added to United’s list of summer targets, and the player has gone onto enjoy a stunning season, scoring 34 times.

Managing to sign him will not be easy, with RB Leipzig optimistic he will stay, while new interest from Chelsea also complicates matters.

Nkunku is a player worth fighting for, and Manchester United will certainly have to fight, in order to sign him.

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RB Leipzig chief hopeful Nkunku stays

RB Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff told BILD he is confident Nkunku will stay at the club this summer, and says talks are ongoing about a contract extension.

He explained: “We are in good talks to even extend the contract.

“I not only assume, I know that he will play for us again next season.”

German outlet Spox reports Nkunku is ‘reluctant’ to sign a contract extension, however. This undermines Mintzlaff’s optimism.

The Frenchman has a contract which runs until 2024, so there is no urgency to sell this summer, but RB Leipzig would rather get a long-term commitment from the forward if they can.

Nkunku knows his stock is high, and there in an increasing trend among players to let their contract wind down.

One way or another, RB Leipzig are optimistic Nkunku will still be playing for the club next season, contract extension or not.

‘Official offer’ claim

Amid the Mintzlaff’s comments, Sky Germany journalist Florian Plettenberg reported Manchester United interest remains active.

He even suggested there could be an ‘official offer’ from Manchester United next week.

But he was adamant RB Leipzig would reject the approach.

Of course, United’s offer could be simply too good to refuse, but RB Leipzig are not going to be easy to convince to sell.

This may turn into a long summer saga reliant on Nkunku pushing through a transfer request, and with Erik ten Hag seeking pre-season to begin as early as June 27, Manchester United simply may not have time for a drawn out transfer battle.

Photo by Nico Paetzel / DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Rival interest from Chelsea

Chelsea’s takeover has now been approved, leaving them free to start their summer spending. Manchester United have so far failed to capitalize on the headstart the Red Devils had.

Goal report Nkunku is high on Chelsea’s transfer list for this summer, with manager Thomas Tuchel an admirer.

Chelsea will still have to overcome RB Leipzig’s determination to hold onto him, but will be looking for a statement signing under their new owners.

Manchester United can still win the race for Nkunku, but these are two sizeable obstacles to get past, the combination of Leizpig wanting him to stay, and Chelsea also likely to push up his asking price and create a bidding war.

Nkunku is just an option for United at this stage, and he could be a player who is too expensive and difficult to land, prompting the club to focus elsewhere.

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