Chelsea have been handed a huge blow in the race to sign RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku as Liverpool look to hijack a deal. The 24-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer, but a move failed to materialise.
football.london understand that the Blues, who hold a long-term interest in Nkunku , were considering whether to make a move for the forward but they were put off by the German giants’ €100million (£87.6m) valuation. Late into the window, the France international signed a new contract to extend his stay at the Red Bull Arena, which is believed to have a €60million (£52.6m) release clause that becomes active at the end of the season.
According to The Sun , Jurgen Klopp’s side sent scouts to watch Nkunku earlier this week when Celtic hosted Leipzig in the Champions League. The report states that Liverpool are aware that they may have ‘missed the boat’, but they are hoping that a move to Chelsea falls through.
The FA question Chelsea treatment of James
Chelsea have begun to face backlash for the treatment of Reece James, with the defender now set to be out for longer than first thought. He suffered an injury in the Blues’ victory over AC Milan and the early indications were that the knock wasn’t serious. However, the knock is worse than first thought, football.london understand. With the Cobham graduate likely to miss the World Cup in November, the Football Association are said to be unhappy with how the west Londoners dealt with the player, who is now set to be out for eight weeks.
According to the MailOnline , the FA are unhappy with the west London side’s treatment of the defender. The report states that the FA have enquired as to the club allowed James to stay in Milan given the great risk at hand.
Former Chelsea shot-stopper offers Kepa backing following Villa heroics
Former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begović has backed Kepa Arrizabalaga to maintain his position as first-choice goalkeeper following the Spaniard’s heroics in the Blues’ 2-0 away win against Aston Villa.
Arrizabalaga won plaudits after he made a string of stunning saves at Villa Park, including a sensational close-range stop to deny Danny Ings, and would conquer in the club’s Twitter man of the match poll. But the appointment of ex-Brighton boss Graham Potter has seen the ball-playing abilities of Arrizabalaga favoured , and Begović, who featured for Chelsea between 2015 and 2017, admitted he has been left impressed with the 28-year-old’s displays.
“I think Kepa’s been good,” Begović told The Byline Podcast. “Matthew Upson was at the stadium (during Chelsea’s Champions League win at Stamford Bridge) and he thought Mendy would come back in and said ‘absolutely not’.
Ronaldo door still open
Todd Boehly has been handed a huge boost in his mission to sign Cristiano Ronaldo at Chelsea. The 37-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Stamford Bridge in the summer as the striker sought an exit from Manchester United.
football.london understand that the Blues sounded out a move for the Portugal international in July , with the five-time Ballon d’Or winner eager to ply his trade in the Champions League. And, according to ESPN, Ronaldo was open to a move to Stamford Bridge.
If Chelsea reignite interest in Ronaldo, then the club have been handed a huge boost after Diego Simeone played down speculation that a move for the striker is on the cards. Speaking to Martin Liberman, as quoted by Atleti Universe , the Atletico Madrid boss said:
“Cristiano Ronaldo’s possible arrival at Atlético de Madrid in the summer? “The little birds [journalists] told you anything far from what has happened – people speak sometimes to tell what they want to tell, not reality,” the Argentinian added. “Ronaldo is an absolute benchmark for Real Madrid.
“I wouldn’t see [Martín] Palermo or [Juan Román] Riquelme playing in River or [Ariel] Ortega in Boca. There are situations that are very clear.”