Christopher Nkunku to Chelsea transfer given £53m seal of approval amid Todd Boehly plans



Despite ridicule from the likes of Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher and others since Todd Boehly completed his joint £4.25billion takeover of Chelsea with Clearlake Capital back in May, his doubters may be eating their own words due to a significant move made behind the scenes which has put the Blues in prime position to secure one of Europe’s most sought after forwards.

Christopher Nkunku, 24, has been a Chelsea target for some time now, dating back to his Paris Saint-Germain days but Boehly’s data-led regime has put the Frenchman firmly on his radar. With the Blues wanting to heavily use data coupled with Graham Potter’s recommendations to shape the face of their recruitment strategy, the new scheme has identified the RB Leipzig star as someone for whom Chelsea just cannot miss out on due to the fear of competition from some of the European elite.

Therefore it’s understandable that Boehly and Co have moved quickly as understands that the player in question has signed a pre-contractual agreement with the West Londoners which would see the Blues pay over his release clause of around £53million.

It’s important to note that this deal is not 100% closed until an announcement is made on both sides but Chelsea have firmly placed themselves in a strong position to make their first signing of the 2023 summer transfer window. With just how well Erling Haaland has done to settle into English football, the new Blues hierarchy will hope that Nkunku turns out more like the Norwegian instead of Timo Werner, who failed to live up to his billing following his £50million move made in 2020.

Fast forward a few seasons, Werner was sold back to Leipzig as the previous regime’s misjudgement meant that £32million was lost this summer was the sale of Chelsea’s former No.11. What will give Boehly hope that Leipzig’s No.18 will not replicate Werner’s path upon a move to England is the electric form he is showing not only in the Bundesliga this season but now in the Champions League too.

As well as having a goal ruled out, Nkunku eventually scored past Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart in the 27th minute. A goal which set the precedent for the night as Marco Rose’s side kept their hopes of qualifying alive with a 3-1 victory over Ange Postecoglou’s team. When reflecting on Nkunku’s performance on BT Sport, former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole showed just why Boehly’s decision in this situation to go hard in on the Les Bleus World Cup hopeful could prove the right one.

“Massively excited, he’s not someone I’ve watched a great deal but what I’ve seen from ticks the box,” Cole said.

“He’s powerful, got great technique, can dribble, his numbers are good. He’s playing in a strong league, I think he’s outstanding. The power from the precision and timing on the run, he’s full of confidence. “He’s one of them players who’s played on the edge, in this game [vs Celtic] he’s showed power, passing, goalscoring, he’s shown everything. Chelsea have jumped in and tried to get the business done early.”

Rio Ferdinand added on the importance of his journey:

“He grew up at Paris Saint Germain by the way so he’s always been identified as a big talent. He’s gone there and over the years in the Champions League, I’ve seen him growing, growing in stature, you can see the confidence and I’m not surprised he’s coming to the Premier League.”

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