RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku has signed a pre-contract deal with Chelsea, according to David Ornstein of athleticism.
The Blues have agreed to pay compensation above the French international’s €60m release clause, which will be activated at the end of the season. They reportedly took this approach to avoid a potential battle with other clubs over the signing of Nkunku next season.
Part of Nkunku’s medical at Chelsea is believed to have already been completed ahead of his move to west London in the summer of 2023. One of Nkunku’s biggest assets is his versatility.
The former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder can play anywhere in midfield and attack and is a vital part of manager Marco Rose’s first-team plans. Nkunku has eight goals and one assist in 12 games in all competitions this season.
The 24-year-old is approaching the early years of his career and could be the long-term solution Chelsea were looking for from the start. Former Blues manager Thomas Tuchel oversaw the arrivals of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku at Stamford Bridge in consecutive summers.
Both signings fell short of expectations, with the German striker joining Leipzig on a permanent basis while Romelu Lukaku returned to Inter Milan on a season-long loan deal.
The Blues made up for the departures of Werner and Lukaku in the recently concluded transfer window by signing Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Chelsea in Everton goalkeeper market – reports
According to journalist Simon Phillips on TakenOffsideEverton’s Jordan Pickford is among the many names Chelsea are keeping an eye on.
The Blues have failed to lure Anthony Gordon from Goodison Park to Stamford Bridge this summer. The west London side are now reportedly interested in Pickford’s services, despite Edouard Mendy still having three years left on his contract.
“I’m told Everton’s Jordan Pickford is on Chelsea’s radar. There are other names, but I don’t have them yet.”
Substitute goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga’s future with the Blues is up in the air after Spain international tried to maneuver an exit this summer.
Kepa has been prone to costly mistakes during his time at the club, but it remains to be seen whether Pickford will accept anything other than a starting place at his potential new club.
The former Sunderland shot-stopper is in the final two years of his contract with the Merseyside-based side.