According to French outlet L’Equipe (h/t Liverpool Echo), not even £85million will be enough if clubs want to sign RB Leipzig star, Christopher Nkunku, in the near future. That comes as a blow to clubs like Liverpool, PSG, and Manchester City, who are keen on signing the attacker.
It was earlier believed that there was a £55million release clause in his contract. In addition to the aforementioned clubs, Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Manchester United, and Real Madrid have been linked with the versatile Leipzig attacker.
This comes as no surprise. Nkunku is arguably one of the top contenders to become the Bundesliga Player of the Season due to his performances this term. He currently has 31 goals and 20 assists in 48 appearances across all competitions this campaign.
His versatility is something that could also appeal to his potential suitors. The 24-year-old star is capable of playing virtually anywhere across the attack or midfield but has been used largely as a centre-forward this term.
Should LFC chase Nkunku?
Liverpool got Roberto Firmino in from TSG Hoffenheim all the way back in 2015. Almost 7 years since then, it is safe to say that the Brazilian has been the fulcrum of Klopp’s philosophy at Anfield.
But over the past couple of years, it seems that the Brazilian isn’t playing at his best, most consistent form. Liverpool have bought Diogo Jota to play up front, and have also shifted Sadio Mane down the middle in recent weeks to make up for Firmino’s absence.
However, signing a potential centre-forward may well be the best approach we can take if Firmino is to be slowly phased out of the starting XI. He turns 31 this October and is on a contract that expires next year. Divock Origi, meanwhile, is linked with a move to AC Milan after a lack of minutes at LFC.
So, thinking about a long-term replacement isn’t a bad idea. Those who watch Firmino play know his contribution to this Liverpool team also extends to his workrate off the ball. if Jurgen Klopp believes that he can get that from Nkunku, then apart from the bloated price tag, there doesn’t seem to be any overwhelming reason why the Reds shouldn’t fight tooth and nail to sign the Leipzig star this summer.
The Reds recently signed Ibrahima Konate from the same German club last summer after securing Naby Keita’s signature several seasons ago. There is clearly a line of communication between the clubs when it comes to transfer dealings.
Man. Utd duo eye summer exits
According to Manchester Evening News, the red devils duo Bailly and Phil Jones wants to leave amid the club’s interest in signing a new centre-back in the summer.
However, it appears Bailly and Jones could head for the exit door. The former is said to be disgruntled by his lack of starts despite the inconsistent form of Harry Maguire.
Furthermore, United have the option of extending Nemanja Matic’s deal for another year, but the Serbian has publicly confirmed that he will be pursuing a fresh challenge elsewhere next season.
But, they are set to oversee several departures during the off-season. Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Lee Grant will leave at the expiry of their contracts.
On the other hand, Jones has been a regular in the matchday squads after a long-term knee injury, but has made just two league starts. He also appears keen on restarting his career elsewhere.
When Bailly signed a new deal in April last year, it seemed he could turnaround his Red Devils career. However, he has only dropped down the pecking order with Raphael Varane’s arrival.
Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Varane have been the regular choices ahead of him this term. Interim boss Ralf Rangnick has also preferred Jones in recent times while leaving him on the bench.
Jones has spent the past few years on the sidelines with a troublesome knee injury. He recently expressed the desire to play regular first-team football to prove his credentials.
Meanwhile, Bailly may already have played his final game for the club. United will be hoping to recoup a decent fee from his sale to aid their summer pursuit of a new centre-back which could be Pau Torres.
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