Chelsea line up Christopher Nkunku move after 'secret medical' in summer – The Telegraph

  • September 30, 2022

The club have already stolen a march on their rivals, with the RB Leipzig forward seemingly keen on a Stamford Bridge switch
Chelsea have already lined up a move to sign Christopher Nkunku after it emerged the RB Leipzig forward underwent medical tests this summer.
Nkunku had secret medical tests in Germany with a Chelsea orthopedist present ahead of a potential move to Stamford Bridge next summer.
It is understood that Nkunku has a £52.58 million release clause in his Leipzig contract that Chelsea’s Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital ownership will need to trigger to sign him.
But they have already stolen a march on their rivals by making medical checks on Nkunku and seemingly attracting the player to a move to Stamford Bridge.
Nkunku scored 35 goals in 52 appearances for Leipzig last season and has started this term well, netting six times in 11 games.
The 24-year-old can play as an out-and-out striker or as an attacking midfielder, which means he would give Chelsea plenty of options moving forwards.
Chelsea spent £50m on Raheem Sterling this summer and signed Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang to try to solve their striking crisis. It is understood that a move for Nkunku would not impact on the 33-year-old’s position at the club.
Other than targeting a move for Nkunku next summer, Chelsea have also added the Leipzig technical director Christopher Vivell to their list of candidates for one of two similar vacancies the club are looking to fill.
Chelsea are currently working towards trying to appoint both a sporting director and a technical director, with Vivell more likely to qualify as a candidate for the latter.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Tim Steidten has spoken to Chelsea about the sporting director role, which Red Bull Salzburg’s Christoph Freund pulled out of the running for. There has been contact with Leeds United chief Victor Orta, while Atalanta’s Lee Congerton has been linked.
Boehly and Clearlake have already made it clear they wish to follow the Red Bull and City Football Group multi-club models and have held talks over buying clubs in Portugal, Belgium and Brazil.
By Telegraph Sport
Christopher Nkunku, who joined RB Leipzig in 2019 from Paris Saint-Germain, had been a promising but somewhat unfulfilled talent in the Bundesliga until last season, when his game went to the next level in spectacular fashion.
Having previously never managed more than six goals in a league season, he hit 20 for Leipzig in the league, and 11 in Europe (across the Champions League and Europa League). 
Only Robert Lewandowski managed more goals and assists combined in the Bundesliga than Nkunku, who also ranked highly for shots and chance creation. 
Nkunku’s goal map from the Bundesliga highlights his prowess as the sort of penalty-box poacher Chelsea have lacked in recent seasons. 
All but three of his 20 goals were scored from inside the area, and while he is not a significant aerial presence – he did not score a single header, perhaps unsurprisingly given he is only 5ft 9in – he is comfortable shooting with both feet.
His aggregated touch map from last season’s Bundesliga suggests he likes to operate on the left, where he can cut inside and shoot on his right foot. 
That position at Chelsea has largely been occupied by Raheem Sterling this season; while there is no suggestion Nkunku, 24, would be signed as Sterling’s replacement, it will present a conundrum to Graham Potter as to where and how he fits into his forward options. 
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