Chelsea and Manchester City involved in transfer battle to sign striker dubbed 'new Luis Suarez': Reports

Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola are both keen to sign Luciano Rodriguez.
Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola are both keen to sign Luciano Rodriguez.

Chelsea are reportedly set to face competition from Manchester City in the transfer race to snap up Liverpool Montevideo attacker Luciano Rodriguez in the future.

Rodriguez, 20, has lately popped up as one of the most promising South American forwards, even being dubbed as the 'new Luis Suarez' by local media. He has shot to recognition due to his eye-catching performances for both Liverpool Montevideo and his national team.

A right-footed versatile forward blessed with shooting, dribbling and flair, Rodriguez first made the headlines past July. He netted Uruguay's winner in the 1-0 FIFA U20 World Cup final victory over Italy last year.

Now, according to HITC, both Chelsea and Manchester City have set their eyes on Rodriguez with the intention of adding him to their squad soon. They could have to battle it out with Eredivisie club Feyenoord, who had launced a move to rope in the Uruguayan in the past.

Rodriguez, whose current contract is set to expire in December 2027, has bagged 11 goals and laid out six assists in 38 overall outings for Liverpool Montevideo. He has also been in excellent form for the Uruguay U23 team, scoring six times in five games so far in 2024.

Darren Bent says Chelsea star Christopher Nkunku's recent injury 'must be frustrating'

Earlier this week, Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino revealed that Christopher Nkunku has suffered a new setback after his knee problem earlier this season. The 26-year-old is likely to be out for a month.

Speaking on talkSPORT, ex-Tottenham Hotspur striker Bent opined on the former Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig forward's injury situation. He said (h/t HITC):

"He has shown flashes, he scored a lovely goal [in a 4-1 defeat] against Liverpool, chopped a couple of people and smashed it in. But he just can't stay fit. He has got to Chelsea, he is 26 now, so he is getting to the point where you are saying: 'Come on now, you have to start delivering and you aren't young anymore'."

Sharing his thoughts on Pochettino's feelings, the Englishman added:

"For Pochettino, it must be frustrating because clearly there have been times when he has been on the bench and he hasn't started. People have been probably wondering: 'Why isn't he starting?' Clearly, he isn't fit enough. Even when he came on in the [EFL Cup] final, nothing! I thought Nkunku was going to be that guy."

Nkunku, who arrived in a £52 million deal from RB Leipzig last summer, has made 10 appearances across competitions for Chelsea this season. He has scored twice in 394 minutes of first-team action so far.

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Edited by Debkalpa Banerjee