Chelsea close in on £53million Christopher Nkunku transfer after secret medical as Todd Boehly builds RB Leipzig relationship

Chelsea have got ahead of their rivals in the race to sign Red Bull Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku by holding a secret medical with the striker.

The France star underwent a preliminary examination earlier this month with a view to making a £52.58 million move next summer.

Leipzig bosses are adamant that Nkunku will not be allowed to leave before the end of this season but that has not deterred Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly.

The American is trying to lure the player to the Premier League and an advance medical is seen as one way of showing commitment, albeit a bizarre one.

There are already strong links between Chelsea and Germans RB Leipzig after a summer move for the club’s Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol fell through.

Chelsea made a bid of around £80m for Gvardiol and even though the transfer did not materialise there is now a connection between the two clubs.

Leipzig sold midfielder Naby Keita to Liverpool in a similar fashion to the way Chelsea are trying to sign Nkunku.

Keita agreed the deal but played the rest of the season with Leipzig until moving to Anfield in 2018.

Nkunku, 24, has been courted by most of Europe’s top sides with Paris Saint-Germain among those heavily linked with one of the Bundesliga’s most prolific players.

He scored 35 goals in 52 appearances for Leipzig last season and has scored six already this season.

He can play as a centre-forward or attacking midfielder and it is that which is attracting the interest of Chelsea.

The Premier League club spent almost £250m on new players in the summer, including deals for forward Raheem Sterling and striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.


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