If anybody anticipated Chelsea’s new owners taking a rest once the transfer window closed, think again.
Since the market shut on September 1, the Todd Boehly-Clearlake group has changed managers, intensified their sporting director search and lined up a deal to secure one of Europe’s elite forwards next summer.
News emerged last week that Chelsea have moved for Christopher Nkunku, with the RB Leipzig player undergoing medical tests prior to a proposed move for the 2023-24 season.
There has been some conjecture as to the status of the situation but The Athletic is told Nkunku has signed a pre-contract agreement with the west Londoners and that the Premier League side have committed to paying their German Bundesliga counterparts a price in excess of the 24-year-old’s €60million (£52.7m, $58.8m) release clause.
With the clause not coming into effect until this campaign is over, Chelsea are spending a higher figure to secure Nkunku in advance and avoid a potentially intense battle for his services.
Sources close to the matter say Chelsea have overcome competition, including from other leading English teams, to make the eight-cap France international a fundamental part of the rebuild going on at Stamford Bridge.
That work on a new-look Chelsea is expected to continue with the appointment of a sporting director, given Boehly is occupying the role on an interim basis alongside his responsibilities as co-owner and chairman.
Following unsuccessful attempts to install former Liverpool executive Michael Edwards and later,