RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku has already completed a secret Chelsea medical in anticipation of a move next summer, according to reports.
The 24-year-old was linked with the Blues and Manchester United during the summer transfer window.
But he penned a contract extension with Leipzig in June that committed his future to the German club until 2026.
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However, Matt Law of the Daily Telegraph reported that Nkunku has already passed a medical with Chelsea ahead of a proposed move at the end of the 2022/23 season.
The news backs up similar reports from Germany; Bild said the striker underwent secret medical tests with the London club in a Frankfurt hospital in August.
Leipzig are said to be prepared to let Nkunku go next summer now that they have agreed to sign Salzburg's Benjamin Sesko, who will join the German club ahead of the 2023/24 season.
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Nkunku is understood to have a 60 million euro release clause in his contract.
The France international became a sought-after player after a superb season that saw him win the 2021/22 Bundesliga player of the year award.
He scored 35 goals in 52 appearances in all competitions to help Leipzig win the DFB-Pokal and qualify for the Champions League last season.
He has started this term in fine form, too, with four goals in seven Bundesliga games so far, as he is aiming to lock down a place in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the 2022 World Cup.
Chelsea had a very active transfer window, spending a club record £273 million on new players, the highest figure in Europe.
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Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were brought in, among others.
But the heavy spending didn’t result in immediate results, and manager Thomas Tuchel was sacked in the wake of a Champions League defeat to Dinamo Zagreb, to be replaced by Graham Potter.
Chelsea are seventh in the Premier League standings after six games, eight points behind leaders Arsenal with a game in hand.
Potter, who has so far only overseen a 1-1 draw against Salzburg in the Champions League, will take charge of his first league game as Blues boss on Saturday, away to Crystal Palace.
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