Manchester United report: Red Devils face battle with Chelsea for thrilling French forward

Erik ten Hag
(Image credit: PA)

Manchester United and Chelsea could go head-to-head for the signature of Christopher Nkunku this summer, according to reports.

The RB Leipzig (opens in new tab) forward is a man in demand after an excellent season at the Red Bull Arena.

Nkunku has scored 34 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions this term, 20 of which have come in the Bundesliga.

Only Robert Lewandowski, Patrik Schick and Erling Haaland have found the back of the net more often in the German top flight, which concludes this weekend.

That goal record is even more impressive given Nkunku has not always played as a central striker.

The Frenchman has also been deployed on both flanks and as an attacking midfielder this season.

Erik ten Hag

(Image credit: Getty)

That versatility only makes him more appealing to clubs like Chelsea (opens in new tab) and Manchester United (opens in new tab), who are both keeping tabs on the former PSG (opens in new tab) man.

According to Florian Plettenberg, a reporter for Sky Germany (opens in new tab), both Premier League sides want to sign Nkunku this summer.

However, Leipzig want to keep hold of their star man and have offered him a contract extension.

His current deal has two years left to run and does not include a release clause.

United and Chelsea may therefore have to spend big if they want to prise the France international away from his current employers in the coming months.

Thomas Tuchel

(Image credit: Getty)

Plettenberg adds that most of United's interest comes from Ralf Rangnick, who will be replaced as manager by Erik ten Hag at the end of the season.

If the Dutchman is not as keen on Nkunku as Rangnick, Chelsea could be in pole position to sign him.

Thomas Tuchel is thought to be a big admirer of the 24-year-old, who moved to Leipzig for just £11.7m in 2019.

According to German publication Bild (opens in new tab), it would cost around £64m to sign Nkunku this summer.

Leipzig will end the Bundesliga campaign against Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday, before facing Freiburg in the DFB-Pokal final on May 21.

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Greg Lea

Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).