Chelsea have reportedly already taken steps to plan for the potential transfer of RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku in 2023.
On the back of contributing 35 goals and 20 assists during the 2021-22 campaign, the France international was naturally linked with a move to a bigger club.
The Blues were among a wide array of teams said to be monitoring the situation, joining the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid.
However, the 24-year-old eventually opted to pen a new long-term contract with RB Leipzig, extending his stay at the Bundesliga side until 2026.
That appeared to ensure that Nkunku would spend the foreseeable future at his current club, who had also strengthened their position when it came to generating a bigger transfer fee for his signature.
Nevertheless, according to The Telegraph, Chelsea have already started the process of trying to sign Nkunku during the 2023 summer transfer window.
The report claims that the former Paris Saint-Germain man has already had ‘a secret medical’ with the Premier League giants ahead of possibly moving to Stamford Bridge next year.
Reporter Matt Law says that although the 2021 Champions League winners are now the clear favourites to win any race for Nkunku’s services, a transfer is not a foregone conclusion.
Chelsea would also need to meet Nkunku’s €60m (£52.7m) release clause unless Leipzig are willing to negotiate a different proposal.
As it stands, it is unclear what involvement new Chelsea boss Graham Potter will have with future transfers at a time when the Blues are also searching for a new sporting director.
While the Englishman will likely have an input, co-owner Todd Boehly may yet delegate more responsibility to any new arrival behind the scenes.
The American gave the green light for previous head coach Thomas Tuchel to spend £272m on new players during the summer before he was surprisingly sacked soon afterwards.
Although Chelsea are well stocked for creative and forward players, Nkunku is capable of playing in multiple roles in the final third.
When used down the middle of Leipzig’s attack this campaign, he has contributed four goals from five appearances.