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RB Leipzig boss plays down Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea “speculation”

RB Leipzig boss plays down Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea “speculation”

RB Leipzig manager Marco Rose has dismissed reports linking Christopher Nkunku with a summer move to Chelsea as “speculation”.

Despite signing a new deal with Leipzig until 2026 in the summer, the 24-year-old has supposedly already undergone a medical with Chelsea before a switch in 2023.

Nkunku is also said to have given the green light to a pre-contract agreement to join the Blues, forcing the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United to accept defeat in the race to sign him.

The former Paris Saint-Germain starlet’s medical was supposed to have been kept a secret by all parties, and he allegedly possesses a €60m (£52.1m) release clause in his new Leipzig contract.

Chelsea are said to be willing to pay more than that to negotiate a smooth deal with Leipzig, but Rose has refused to give anything away regarding a potential deal.

RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku pictured on November 24, 2021© Reuters

Speaking to reporters ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Celtic, Rose emphatically denied that an agreement was in place, saying: “It’s speculation, we don’t comment on it. We don’t care, we don’t care.”

Nkunku found himself on the radar of several top clubs around Europe after registering a staggering 35 goals and 18 assists in 52 appearances across all competitions in the 2021-22 season.

The France international’s efforts helped Die Roten Bullen clinch the DFB-Pokal title, and he already has 10 goals to boast from 12 matches in the current campaign.

Upon signing his new Leipzig deal over the summer, Nkunku affirmed that he still had unfinished business with the Bundesliga club, saying: “I’m pleased to continue wearing the RB Leipzig shirt.

“After our great achievement in winning the DFB-Pokal, it remained clear that my story here isn’t over yet – we want more! I was really impressed with the club’s efforts to keep me, so a big thanks goes to those responsible for the trust in me and especially to Oliver Mintzlaff, with whom I was always in close contact.

RB Leipzig's Christopher Nkunku celebrates scoring their first goal on September 28, 2021© Reuters

“RB Leipzig have made a name for themselves on the international stage in recent years and have shown time and again that we can compete for titles. We want to build on that going forward and go one step further.”

Chelsea manager Graham Potter was unsurprisingly questioned on the Nkunku rumours earlier this week, but the Englishman was not prepared to comment on players who are not already at Stamford Bridge.

“I said before, my answer is I don’t speak about players that aren’t Chelsea players. If you want to ask about any Chelsea players, I’m quite happy to speak about them,” Potter told a press conference.

“But it was the same at Brighton. You get linked to a lot of players, and there’s a lot of names out there. And you can imagine it gets escalated when you’re at a club like Chelsea. But I’ll speak about Chelsea players and not comment about anyone else.”

Nkunku has amassed a total of 55 goals and 48 assists in 148 outings for RB Leipzig in all competitions since leaving PSG permanently in the summer of 2019.

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