Christopher Nkunku transfer to Chelsea: Contract signing, ‘secret’ medical complete, £52m clause
Christopher Nkunku was extensively linked with a transfer to Chelsea over the summer, but nothing came of it. The Blues are thought to be adamant about bringing the RB Leipzig star to Stamford Bridge as Todd Boehly wants to reinforce the club’s frontline.
football.london understands that the west Londoners, who have a long-term interest in Nkunku, were exploring a summer move for the France international but were put off by Bayern Munich’s €100 million (£87.6 million) asking price. Late in the transfer window, the Frenchman signed a new contract at the Red Bull Arena, casting doubt on whether a move was in the cards.
However, it’s understood that a release clause was inserted into his contract which only becomes active in the summer, meaning Nkunku could leave for considerably less. So, with that being said, football.london has collated everything you need to know on the Leipzig star’s potential move to Chelsea…
Next steps in place
In a column for CaughtOffside, Fabrizio Romano revealed that Chelsea are at the final stage before a deal for Nkunku can be considered done. It’s said that all is left to be wrapped up is the signing of contracts between either party.
“I know Chelsea fans are keen to hear an update on Christopher Nkunku, but the situation is still the same,” Romano said. “Chelsea are working on it on both player and club side with RB Leipzig and the next step has to be the contracts signing to consider the deal done. It’s a work in progress, and Chelsea are on it.”
Nkunku ‘happy’ with Chelsea proposal
Romano said: “We’ve had a lot of stories about Christopher Nkunku in the last 24-48 hours. It’s normal, he’s a top player, and some big clubs are involved, so what’s really going on? From what I’m told, Nkunku has had a medical with Chelsea – it was not a personal medical, Chelsea staff were there, and it was for Chelsea Football Club.
“This doesn’t mean it’s a done deal, the medical took place a few weeks ago, and Chelsea have sent a proposal to the player, which he’s happy with. But with RB Leipzig, there is still work to do on an agreement.
“I’m told that Chelsea will try to discuss a fee with Leipzig, before activating the clause in June 2023; so it’s possible they will discuss different price tag or payment terms. As of now, Chelsea are pushing and are leading the race, also on the player’s side.”
Potter delivers Chelsea transfer stance
The latest is that this wasn’t the case according to Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg who tweeted: ‘News Nkunku: We have been told that it was not a medical in order to finalise a deal with CFC. It should have taken place due to insurance reasons. Yes, Chelsea wants him in 2023 but no decision yet, no signing of a pre-contract so far. But release clause!’
Regardless of what is true and not, Potter was keen not to be drawn in on all the speculation. He concluded: “I know we have not had a conversation before. My answer to that type of stuff, unless it’s a player for us I don’t really speak about other players. So, no comment.”
‘Secret medical’ complete
The French attacker for RB Leipzig has been in some of the most inspired form in Europe and was attracting admiring glances from both Chelsea and Arsenal, with football.london understanding he has been looked at by the Blues for a while.
In anticipation of this, Bild Germany are writing that the forward has even had a ‘secret medical’ at Stamford Bridge.
If this is true then the cat is very much out of the bag now but it does demonstrate the shrewdness in which Boehly has operated so far.
£52million release clause
Christopher Nkunku’s new contract with RB Leipzig is said to include a £52million release clause. Todd Boehly could be set to prioritise a move for the French forward as his first job of the 2023 summer transfer window by activating the clause and bringing Nkunku to Stamford Bridge.
Benjamin Sesko’s 2023 move to RB Leipzig has seemingly helped Chelsea secure their man, with Christopher Nkunku move to Stamford Bridge now looking more likely.
Sesko, 19, will move to the Bundesliga for the start of the 23/24 campaign, with Leipzig already one step ahead by securing a replacement for Nkunku’s switch.
New contract with RB Leipzig
Christopher Nkunku signed a two-year contract extension in June 2022 with his current deal now set to expire in 2026. The new contract has been reported to include a £52million release clause which could see the Frenchman leave the club should any club wish to submit a bid matching that fee.
After signing the contract extension, the 24-year-old said: “I’m pleased to continue wearing the RB Leipzig shirt. After our great achievement in winning the DFB Cup, it remained clear that my story here isn’t over yet – we want more.
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.”