Chelsea spent more than £251 million to become Europe’s highest spender in the last summer transfer window.
The West Londoners are set to splash the cash once again as they are reportedly close to striking a deal for RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku.
After taking the reigns from Roman Abramovich, Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly has spared no expense to assure Chelsea fans that the Blues will continue to flex their financial muscle to bring the best talents to Stamford Bridge.
Reports suggest he has sanctioned another high-profile transfer to bolster Graham Potter’s squad.
The American has emphasized building a data-driven scouting network.
Graham Potter and his transfer advisor Kyle Macaulay have also shown heavy interest in the player, which has prompted the club to move faster in the market and secure a deal for Nkunku as soon as possible.
The contract situation
Nkunku had agreed to renew his contract at Leipzig only a few months ago.
The new contract ties him to the Bundesliga outfit until 2026. But, the new contract apparently has a buy-out clause rumoured to be valued at around €60 million.
Chelsea, however, are negotiating to bring down the fee and finalise a deal that will make Nkunku a Chelsea player in the summer of 2023.
Chelsea and RB Leipzig have a history of doing deals together.
Leipzig had agreed to let Timo Werner join Chelsea in 2020 for a €53 million fee.
They are looking for a similar fee to let go of Nkunku, and Chelsea have not shown much reluctance to pay such an amount. However, talks are still ongoing between the parties.
A hot prospect
Nkunku is one of the most exciting talents in the Bundesliga.
The Frenchman has scored 56 goals and made 48 assists in 149 RB Leipzig appearances.
In eight Bundesliga outings this season, Nkunku has scored six times. He has also scored for Leipzig in the Champions League when he found the back of the net in Leipzig’s 3-1 win over Celtic.
How Potter can use him
The 24-year-old is not a traditional number nine who feels comfortable leading the line.
Nkunku is more proficient in operating in the wings, making use of his quick feet to dribble past defenders and cut inside. He also enjoys playing as a playmaker behind the striker.
Because of his versatility, Graham Potter can have a number of ideas to incorporate Nkunku into the lineup.
He can partner Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in attack or play behind him.
Potter can also try him out in wider areas, as Chelsea wingers have been struggling for goals lately.
Christopher Nkunku can transform Chelsea’s attack, which has come under heavy criticism lately because of their lack of firepower.
Under Thomas Tuchel, Chelsea were mostly dependent on their wingbacks and defenders to score goals. But that proved to be an unsustainable system over time.
So, Chelsea are desperate to restructure their attack and Nkunku would be a great upgrade to the options they already have.
Chelsea are eager to wrap up the deal before the World Cup, which starts in November.
According to reports in Germany, Nkunku is also eager to make the move.
So it appears only to be a matter of time before Nkunku becomes a Chelsea player.
However, Chelsea fans will likely keep their excitement in check for the transfer after encountering multiple near misses in the summer transfer window.