Several Premier League clubs – including Arsenal and Manchester United – are believed to be interested in signing RB Leipzig and France midfielder Christopher Nkunku
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RB Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff has reiterated the club’s desire to keep Christopher Nkunku on their books this summer.
Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are all thought to be interested in Nkunku, who’s scored 32 goals in all competitions this term. The 24-year-old can be deployed in attacking midfield or as a No10 and has two years left on his existing deal.
It’s not surprising Premier League teams are reportedly interested in Nkunku considering his prolific form this season, yet Mintzlaff wants him to stay in Germany. It’s believed Leipzig will offer the France international a new contract in the coming weeks.
“We have clearly discussed it internally,” Mintzlaff told reporters. “We won’t let Nkunku leave this summer, we told him and his agent.”
The German administrator’s comments come just two weeks after he told the press “Nkunku will be our player next year” but admitted “in football nobody is unsellable”. Rumours suggest the player is keen to take the next step in his career.
Interested buyers will have to offer Leipzig – who are in rush to sell thanks to the player’s contract – a transfer fee in excess of £60million, it’s understood.
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Nkunku started his career at Paris Saint-Germain, making 78 appearances in all competitions before joining Leipzig in July 2019. He won three Ligue 1 titles, two French Cups, two French League Cups and four French Super Cups during his time in Paris.
“I do love watching him [Nkunku],” Thierry Henry told CBS Sports last month. “Goals and assists. He is just having fun this season. But he is adding goals this year… he is in the national team now. His confidence… the world wants him.”
United interim manager Ralf Rangnick, who will start a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford this summer, was said to be infuriated by the club’s lack of information about Nkunku in January – believing the scouts should’ve been tracking his progress.
Long-term scouts Jim Lawlor and Marcel Bout both left Old Trafford last month, while Matt Judge – United’s director of football negotiations – will quit the club later this year. It’s unclear if Rangnick’s reported anger played a role in their respective exits.
Leeds manager Jesse Marsch, who was in charge of Leipzig for six months last year, has noticed Nkunku’s improvement. “Christopher has no weaknesses,” he told Leipzig’s website last September. “He is young and still wants a lot more.
“It’s always a good thing when a young player listens to the things we say and also wants to implement them. Working with him is a lot of fun as he is really intelligent and has a lot of potential… we have spoken to Christopher a lot about playing on the counter, and also what he needs to do to play as a striker, a No10 and on both wings.”