Rumour Has It: Chelsea plan to trigger release clause for Leipzig forward Nkunku

By Sports Desk October 01, 2022

Chelsea have reportedly already conducted a medical for RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku with the aim of signing him at the end of this season.

It has long been thought Nkunku's time at Leipzig was coming to an end, but the Bundesliga club retained his services in the most recent transfer window, potentially setting him up for a 2023 departure.

Nkunku is off to a terrific start to the Bundesliga season, netting four goals from seven games, and while the interest in him is expected to be wide-ranging, Chelsea have used their relationship with Leipzig in an effort to jump to the front of the queue.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA COMPLETE SECRET NKUNKU MEDICAL, PREPARE TO TRIGGER RELEASE CLAUSE

According to Bild, Nkunku has a release clause in his contract set at €60million, and Chelsea are prepared to trigger it at the conclusion of this campaign.

Chelsea and Leipzig have done plenty of business together previously, including sales of Timo Werner in either direction and advanced negotiations around young centre-back Josko Gvardiol. It appears Nkunku was also discussed at length, and the German club were willing to let Chelsea take a closer look at the in-demand attacker ahead of any official bids being made.

With Gvardiol also remaining a potential target for new Chelsea coach Graham Potter – with his price tag set at a huge €90m – this could turn into one of the most expensive package deals ever.

ROUND-UP

– According to the Daily Star, Erling Haaland weighed up a potential move to Liverpool before eventually choosing Manchester City, but he categorically ruled out Manchester United.

– Football Insider is reporting Aston Villa are considering Mauricio Pochettino and Unai Emery for their next manager if Steven Gerrard is fired.

– Football Insider also claims Leicester City's James Maddison is "very keen" on a move to Tottenham after reports they are keeping tabs on the 25-year-old midfielder.

Chelsea will give Christian Pulisic a chance to prove his value before making a decision on his future, per 90min.

– Sport is reporting Juventus are planning a January move for Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba.

Related items

  • Denmark 1-1 England: Kane strike cancelled out in underwhelming Three Lions display Denmark 1-1 England: Kane strike cancelled out in underwhelming Three Lions display

    England passed up the chance to progress to the knockout stage of Euro 2024 with a game to spare as they were pegged back to a 1-1 draw by Denmark in Frankfurt. 

    Harry Kane's goal in the 18th minute had eased the early Three Lions nerves, only for Morten Hjulmand to take aim from distance and fire beyond Jordan Pickford. 

    Yet bar the move for Kane's opener, England's performance was deeply lacklustre, and Gareth Southgate may well face scrutiny, even though the Three Lions remain in pole position in Group C.

    Denmark, who looked the more likely to win it in the second half, sit second, ahead of Slovenia and Serbia, who drew in Thursday's earlier match.

    There were calls for concern early on in the contest as Kyle Walker was the first to succumb to a choppy surface, taking a chunk out of the pitch as he went forward, requiring a change of footwear. 

    Walker showed no signs of an injury, however, taking advantage of Victor Kristiansen's lapse in concentration to sprint clear before his deflected cross found Kane, who tucked away his 64th international goal. 

    But as was the case against Serbia, Southgate's side failed to nail home their advantage, and this time they were punished as Hjulmand rifled home the 13th goal scored from outside the box at Euro 2024.

    Denmark concluded the first half much the better team, with Joachim Andersen and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg going close to giving Kasper Hjulmand's team an advantage at the break.

    England almost regained their advantage when Phil Foden was able to find space to send an effort towards Kasper Schmeichel's goal early in the second half, only for the post to come to the Danes' rescue. 

    Southgate made a triple change in the 70th minute, and it almost proved fruitful when Ollie Watkins forced another save from Schmeichel.

    But Denmark soon regained control, and Pickford was a spectator as Hojbjerg fired an effort from distance that narrowly evaded the far post, with the spoils ultimately shared.

    England in strong position, but still far from convincing

    Having arrived in Germany among the tournament favourites, England are still yet to show they have the potential to end their 58-year wait for an international honour. 

    The Three Lions continued their run of having never won their opening two matches at a European Championship tournament, and a disjointed midfield remains a problem for Southgate, with Trent Alexander-Arnold once again replaced early in the second half by Conor Gallagher, and it appears crucial that balance is found sooner rather than later. 

    It was another disappointing performance from Phil Foden, but he showed glimpses of his promise from central areas which will give the England boss another decision to navigate. 

    Kane can take solace in becoming only the third player to score in four separate major tournaments for England, after Michael Owen and Wayne Rooney, but he managed just 22 touches, though only one of those came in Denmark's box.

    All eyes on Munich for Denmark 

    Denmark will arguably be the more disappointed of the two sides, given they looked more likely to score late on.

    Hjulmand's side outfought and outplayed England at times, but were unable to improve their record against the Three Lions and have now failed to beat them in their previous four meetings (D2 L2) at major tournaments.

    But the Danes can take the positives from their performance, registering more shots (16 to 12) and more possession (51%) than their opponents, but the result is the most important statistic next Tuesday when they take on Serbia.

    Denmark have now won just one of their last 10 group stage games at major international tournaments, beating Russia 4-1 on matchday three at Euro 2020.

  • France doing 'all they can' to ensure Mbappe can play against the Netherlands France doing 'all they can' to ensure Mbappe can play against the Netherlands

    Didier Deschamps says "everything is going in the right direction" when it comes to Kylian Mbappe's fitness.

    Mbappe sustained a broken nose during France's 1-0 win over Austria on Monday, casting his participation in the rest of Les Bleus' Euro 2024 campaign into doubt.

    However, in a positive move, the 25-year-old returned to light training, while wearing a protective bandage, on Wednesday.

    And ahead of France's clash with the Netherlands, Deschamps was optimistic that his captain will be available.

    "Everything is going in the right direction after this major shock he had, with the consequences, of course," Deschamps said on Thursday.

    "Yesterday, as you could see, he was able to go out and do some activity. That will be the case tonight too.

    "So it has evolved in the right direction. We'll do everything we can to ensure that he can be available tomorrow."

    If he indeed does play in Leipzig, then Mbappe will have to wear a protective mask.

    Deschamps added: "Kylian will be wearing a mask yes, you don't really need to know the details about this mask."

    Antoine Griezmann joined Deschamps in offering a positive update.

    "Kylian is doing very well, his nose has deflated a little. We will see until the last moment, depending on his feelings," Griezmann said.

    Mbappe had four shots without scoring in their 1-0 win over Austria, taking his total to 18 attempts without scoring at the Euros, the most of any Frenchman since 1980. By contrast, at the World Cup he has scored 12 goals in 14 matches with a 31% shot conversion rate.

    He will surely be extra eager to return to action given his record against the Dutch.

    The Netherlands are Mbappe's favourite opponent – he has scored six goals in five matches against them, more than against any other side in his international career with France. In fact, his first ever goal for Les Bleus came against the Netherlands in August 2017.

  • Pickford becomes England's record appearance maker at major tournaments Pickford becomes England's record appearance maker at major tournaments

    Jordan Pickford will become England's leading appearance maker at major international tournaments against Denmark at Euro 2024. 

    The Everton goalkeeper will make his 21st appearance for the Three Lions at a major international competition in Frankfurt, surpassing Peter Shilton's record. 

    Pickford made his debut for his country in 2017 in a draw with Germany at Wembley, and was included in Gareth Southgate's 23-man squad for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. 

    The 30-year-old has since established himself as England's number one, and has kept 10 clean sheets for his nation at major tournaments, the latest of which coming last Sunday against Serbia. 

    Pickford enjoyed an excellent start to his Euro 2024, completing 25 of his 41 passes against Serbia with a pass accuracy of 61 per cent. 

     

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.