Chelsea 'receive interest in star man' as new boss Enzo Maresca thrown curveball

Chelsea forward Christopher Nkunku has reportedly received interest ahead of the transfer window (Image: Getty)

Chelsea have reportedly received interest in forward Christopher Nkunku after the forward endured a tough first season in the Premier League. Nkunku struggled to stay fit for a prolonged period after completing a £51million switch from RB Leipzig a year ago.

The 26-year-old made only 11 Premier League appearances last season. Only two of those were starts, with Mauricio Pochettino having to rely on other attacking players.

Chelsea had moved early to secure the signing of Nkunku, striking an agreement with Leipzig midway through the 2022-23 campaign. But fans barely got to see the best of the Frenchman as he struggled with a knee injury and then later a hamstring problem.

According to Sky Germany, there is interest in Nkunku from other teams. However, it is claimed that the player wants to remain in London.

The report adds that Nkunku wants to become a key player at Stamford Bridge, just like he did at Leipzig. He was signed by Chelsea off the back of a season in which he scored 23 goals across all competitions for the Bundesliga club.

Nkunku was unable to replicate that form in West London last season. However, his fleeting cameo appearances offered some positive glimpses of how he could perform when fully fit.

The ex-Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate scored three Premier League goals despite starting only two games.

Incoming Chelsea head coach Enzo Maresca will be desperate to keep Nkunku at the club for next season. His experience will be vital among a young changing room.

Chelsea boss Enzo Maresca will want to keep Christopher Nkunku at Stamford Bridge (Image: Getty)

Chelsea may need to sell a couple of key players this summer to remain within profit and sustainability regulations. However, given the Blues need to make a profit on stars to strike off expenditure, it is unlikely that big-money signing Nkunku would be a player the club are willing to sell.

Midfielder Conor Gallagher has been strongly linked with a departure. As an academy graduate, any fee for the England international would constitute pure profit and would look good on Chelsea’s accounts.

Gallagher is widely understood to be available for around £50m. Tottenham and Aston Villa are reportedly interested in the 24-year-old, who frequently captained Chelsea last season in the absence of the injured Reece James.

June 30 is the deadline for any deals that clubs want to record as taking place in the 2023-24 season. Any transfer completed beyond that date this summer would be considered to have happened in the 2024-25 campaign. Clubs cannot lose more than £105m over a given three-year period.