The recently capped France international has enjoyed a prolific campaign, netting 20 goals and laying on 13 assists in the Bundesliga as well as bagging 11 goals in 12 European outings across the Champions League and Europa League.
Despite playing as an attacking midfielder, Nkunku is the fourth highest scorer in the Bundesliga this season and has only netted one less goal than Erling Haaland.
The 24-year-old’s performances have attracted the attention of a host of clubs – Bayern Munich are thought to be keen while Arsenal have tracked him since his time at PSG – while he was the first player Rangnick mentioned to United’s recruitment team when he arrived at Old Trafford.
In fact, the interim boss – who held a key role across Red Bull’s football clubs when Nkunku moved to Leipzig – was said to be shocked when he learned that United had not been tracking the Frenchman, with Rangnick believing him to be one of the most promising young talents in Europe.
Now Chelsea also appear to have joined the race to sign Nkunku, with Sky Sports Germany reporting that Tuchel is ‘highly interested’ in signing the midfielder this summer.
The west Londoners are already looking at Leipzig for their heir to contract rebel Antonio Rudiger – with Josko Gvardiol top of their centre-back wishlist – but they could make it a double raid on the Bundesliga side.
Tuchel is keen to add a younger midfielder with goalscoring instincts to his squad, with N’Golo Kante and Jorginho both over 30, while Chelsea were at times left light in central midfield this season due to injuries and absences.
The bad news for Tuchel is that Leipzig do not want to sell their most prized asset, particularly with the club already resigned to losing Konrad Laimer this summer.
Nkunku has been offered a new contract by Leipzig while there is no release clause in his current deal, which runs until 2024, with any potential suitors likely having to stump up a fee of around £63million.
Speaking a few days ago, Leipzig director Oliver Mintzlaff was emphatic in his assertion that Nkunku would not leave the club, saying: ‘We have clearly discussed it internally: we won’t let Nkunku leave this summer, we told him and his agent.’
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