Nkunku completes Chelsea medical
The Daily Mail reports that RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku has already undergone a medical with Chelsea doctors present, in Frankfurt earlier this year. The 24-year-old has a £52.8 million release clause, which the paper does not believe can be negotiated. Chelsea sold Timo Werner back to the club this summer and the Frenchman had been seen as a potential replacement.
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Paper Round’s view: That release clause represents something of a bargain for Chelsea, especially if they’re in a place to move quickly following the medical already held ahead of time. With the World Cup coming early this year, there could be a larger than usual move in the winter for emerging talent, so Nkunku may even be pursued by Chelsea in the winter.
Chelsea battle for Skriniar
Chelsea will face a tough time if they are to sign Milan Skriniar from Inter Milan in the summer. The 27-year-old central defender is out of contract this summer, but there will be competition. Tottenham have already been linked with the player but Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are both said to be keen on the player when he becomes available, according to the Sun.
Paper Round’s view: Skriniar is one of the best defenders in the world by reputation, and it had seemed that he would move on in the summer, especially given Inter Milan often seem to be struggling with their finances. Given he will be available for nothing, that will leave the Italian club looking to locate a player on a budget, so a January bid could perhaps persuade them to sell prematurely.
Neves focused on Barca move
The Mirror claims that Ruben Neves will turn down interest from Premier League sides Manchester United and Liverpool this coming summer. The 25-year-old Portuguese international had been linked with a move away in the most recent transfer window, but with one year left on his current deal, he will try to move to Barcelona as Sergio Busquets' replacement.
Paper Round’s view: Busquets can't go on forever and there is no indication he will be offered a new contract, and with Xavi Hernandez aiming to add experience to his squad then Neves, at 25, has several years in the Premier League and with the Portuguese national team to point to. He should be available at a reduced price due to his contract status.
Real was Haaland’s third choice
Manchester City signed Erling Haaland for around £65m this summer from Borussia Dortmund, but for some time he had been linked as part of a potential double swoop for Real Madrid alongside Kylian Mbappe of Paris Saint-Germain. Ultimately, the club bought neither and Spanish newspaper Marca reports that Bayern Munich were the second choice, with Real third.
Paper Round’s view: Haaland and Mbappe would have been a strike duo to keep Real at the top of European football for the next five years, if not longer, but it is interesting that Bayern were at number two. The German club generally keep their spending low but it is in their policy to buy the best of the Bundesliga’s talent to stay top of the pile domestically.
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