Chelsea 3-1 Southampton: Picture highlights
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Chelsea have reportedly been told by RB Leipzig that they must smash the club’s record sale in order to land Christopher Nkunku. The artistic French attacking midfielder is currently among the most in-form players in world football, having started the new campaign like a house on fire.
Somehow, nine goals and three assists in 10 matches in all competitions was still not enough to earn a France call-up, a decision that has not been received well back in his homeland.
Instead, Didier Deschamps opted to recall Anthony Martial to the squad despite his questionable form. Contrastingly, Nkunku has received plenty of plaudits for his breathtaking performances in recent weeks, both domestically and on the European stage.
He netted a hat-trick in RB Leipzig’s 6-3 Champions League defeat at Manchester City and has struck a brace in each of his side’s last two Bundesliga matches against Hertha Berlin and Bochum respectively.
Nkunku has also found the net against Club Brugge and SV Sandhausen as he continues to take centre stage at Leipzig under new boss Jesse Marsch.
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According to Bild, Chelsea are one of several clubs to have expressed an interest in signing the player.
The Blues have a fantastic relationship with his agent Pini Zahavi, who has close ties to Roman Abramovich, which could be favourable in any deal for the European champions.
The report claims Leipzig have told Chelsea that they must pay over £51million (€60m) in order to entice the German club into parting with the winger.
That is in the same region as the figure they received from Liverpool for Naby Keita back in August 2017.
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Thomas Tuchel knows the player well from their time together at Paris Saint-Germain but he is said to have been impressed by Nkunku’s development since moving to the Bundesliga.
The youngster was never a staple in his side but has since made vast improvements at Leipzig, where he has become a dependable figure.
Bild also claim that Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz is being watched closely by Chelsea and a whole host of other European clubs.
The German international has replaced Kai Havertz with ease since he left for Chelsea last summer and now Leverkusen are optimistic he could even surpass the heights of their former captain.
The 18-year-old, who has drawn comparisons to Havertz, already has four Bundesliga goals and five assists to his name in just six matches.
He only managed five goals and five assists in 29 Bundesliga appearances in the whole of last season, showcasing just how quickly he has taken his game to the next level.
Chelsea are already stacked with options in attacking midfield but the futures of Hakim Ziyech, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek still remain unclear.
The Blues are continuing to monitor both Nkunku and Wirtz as they draw up their transfer plans for January and beyond.
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