RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku has signed a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea.
What’s the word?
That is according to David Ornstein, who in his exclusive ‘Ornstein on Monday’ column for The Athletic has clarified the conjecture surrounding the highly-rated France international.
Having reached a pre-contract agreement for a proposed move which will take effect in time for the 2023/24 season, the Premier League club have committed to paying the Bundesliga outfit a price in excess of the 24-year-old’s €60m (£52.7m) release clause.
As per the same report, Ornstein wrote that the west Londoners have splashed more cash on this deal in order to secure Nkunku in advance, with his release clause not coming into effect until the end of the current campaign, in what could be an intense battle for his services.
Potter will be buzzing
The reported pre-contract agreement for Nkunku represents a major coup for Todd Boehly and Chelsea and will surely have manager Graham Potter buzzing.
The 24-year-old has quickly become one of Europe’s brightest prospects, more so over the last couple of seasons, which have seen him prosper in a more advanced position as a second striker.
The 2021/22 campaign saw the former Paris Saint-Germain gem help himself to a whopping 33 goal contributions in the form of 20 goals and 13 assists in just 34 Bundesliga games. That emphatic return is demonstrative of his attacking nous.
He has brought that form into the new season, having scored six goals in eight appearances so far for an RB Leipzig side languishing in mid-table, his efforts in the final third undeterred by his team’s mediocre form.
There is no doubt that he could come in and enhance Potter’s squad, with his average of 5.29 pressures per game (87th percentile among strikers in Europe’s top five leagues) a telling indicator of his work rate despite operating in a more advanced position.
The £51k-per-week gem would appear to be a very smart acquisition by Chelsea in what is another example of Boehly’s statement of intent at Stamford Bridge.