Chelsea strike pre-contract agreement with 24-year-old attacker: Reports

Chelsea are set to sign Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig at the end of the season.
Chelsea are set to sign Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig at the end of the season.

RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku has signed a pre-contract agreement with Chelsea, according to David Ornstein of the Athletic.

The Blues have agreed to pay a fee in excess of the France international's €60 million release clause, which will be activated at the end of the season. They have reportedly taken this approach to avoid a potential battle with other clubs for Nkunku's signature next season.

It is believed that part of Nkunku's medical at Chelsea has already been completed ahead of his move to west London in the summer of 2023. One of Nkunku's biggest assets is his versatility.

The former Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) midfielder can play anywhere in midfield and attack and is a vital part of manager Marco Rose's first-team plans. Nkunku has eight goals and one assist in 12 games across competitions this season.

The 24-year-old is approaching the prime years of his career and could be the long-term solution that Chelsea have been looking for up front. Ex-Blues manager Thomas Tuchel oversaw the arrivals of Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku at Stamford Bridge in consecutive summers.

Both signings failed to live up to expectations, with the German striker re-joining Leipzig on a permanent basis while Romelu Lukaku returned to Inter Milan on a season-long loan deal.

The Blues compensated for Werner and Lukaku's departures in the recently-concluded transfer window by signing Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Chelsea in the market for Everton goalkeeper - reports

According to journalist Simon Phillips on CaughtOffside, Everton's Jordan Pickford is among a number of names that Chelsea are keeping tabs on.

The Blues failed to lure Anthony Gordon from Goodison Park to Stamford Bridge in the summer. The west London outfit are now said to be interested in Pickford's services despite Edouard Mendy still having three years left on his contract.

Phillips said:

"I am told that Jordan Pickford from Everton is on Chelsea’s radar. There are other names, but I haven’t got them yet."

Backup goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga's future with the Blues is up in the air after the Spain international tried to maneuver an exit this summer.

Kepa has been prone to costly errors during his time at the club but it remains to be seen if Pickford will accept anything other than a starting berth at his potential new club.

The former Sunderland shot-stopper is in the final two years of his contract with the Merseyside-based outfit.

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Edited by Gautam Aggarwal
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