Chelsea have confirmed the £52m transfer of France forward Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig.
Nkunku, who will officially become a Chelsea player on July 1, has agreed to a six-year deal at Stamford Bridge.
Sky Sports News reported in October last year that Chelsea were willing to pay above the 25-year-old’s €60m release clause, which came into effect this summer, but it appears they have now chosen to meet that fee.
“I am incredibly happy to be joining Chelsea,” said Nkunku, who came through the Paris Saint-Germain youth system.
“A big effort was made to bring me to the club and I am looking forward to meeting my new coach and team-mates and showing the Chelsea supporters what I can do on the pitch.
“Having played in Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, I now want to play in the Premier League, one of the strongest leagues in the world. I am very excited for this challenge and will be proud to wear the Chelsea shirt.”
Nkunku, who scored 16 goals and provided six assists in 25 Bundesliga appearances this season, can play as a centre forward and in the No 10 position.
Laurence Stewart and Paul Winstanley, Chelsea’s co-sporting directors, said: “Christopher has proved himself one of the standout attacking players in European football over the past two seasons and will add quality, creativity and versatility to our squad.
“He has demonstrated his ability at the highest level with RB Leipzig and France and we look forward to him joining up with his new teammates ahead of the new season.”
Nkunku is Chelsea’s second signing of the summer after the transfer of 16-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder Kendry Paez from Independiente del Valle for €20m (£17.27m). He will not join the club until 2025, when he turns 18.
Football is coming home! UK & Republic of Ireland set to host Euro 2028 as Turkey withdraw bid
The United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland look set to host Euro 2028 after the Turkish FA withdrew its bid to host the tournament.
The Turkish FA has officially withdrawn its bid to host Euro 2028 in order to focus on its plan to co-host the tournament with Italy in 2032. UEFA has now approved the joint proposal, which was first announced in July.
Turkey’s withdrawal from the 2028 bidding process means that the UK and Republic of Ireland’s bid will now run unopposed. Wembley Stadium hosted the semi-finals and final of the delayed 2020 European Championship, but the UK has not hosted an entire major tournament since 1996.
Both bids will require official approval at a meeting of UEFA’s executive committee on Tuesday. An official statement from UEFA read: “The presentations at that meeting will be an important part of the process which will take due consideration of the content of the bid submissions before reaching a decision.”
If approved, then Euro 2028 will be hosted in the UK and Ireland. Among the ten proposed stadiums are Wembley Stadium, Hampden Park and the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, as well as the currently unbuilt Bramley Moore Dock stadium in Liverpool and Casement Park in Belfast
Messi makes decision on when he will leave Inter Miami
Lionel Messi has reportedly decided where he will end his playing career, but it won’t be in Miami or Barcelona.
Messi’s Inter Miami contract is set to expire in 2025, at which point – according to El Nacional – he will look to return to boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in his native Argentina. There is an option for the World Cup winner to extend his deal with Miami for an extra year, but the report states that he wants to retire in his homeland.
Messi left Barcelona in 2021 after more than two decades at the club, having joined the Spanish giants from Newell’s as a 13-year-old. He snubbed a return to Camp Nou when he left Paris Saint-Germain over the summer, and it now looks like a fairy tale return to Barca is never going to happen.
Messi scored 10 goals in his first seven games for David Beckham’s Miami franchise, but he has spent the past month injured. He will play a farewell match at Barcelona at some point, even if he does not return to play for the club
Real Madrid flop Eden Hazard ready to return to football this month
Former Chelsea and Real Madrid star Eden Hazard is all set to play football again but this time in a charity match in France.
The former Belgian international is currently without a club after he mutually terminated his Real Madrid contract at the end of the 2022/23 season.
Amid speculation regarding his future, Hazard is all set to step on a football pitch in October and will be playing for Varietes Club de France in a charity match.
He is set to team up with France legends Laurent Blanc and Didier Deschamps and will also be accompanied by his former Lille team-mates Yohan Cabaye and Mathieu Debuchy, according to L’Équipe.
The match will be played for a noble cause at the Stade de L’Epopee in Calais in front of 12,000.
The 32-year-old star had offers from his former club Lille and from Ligue 1 giants Marseille in the summer but the player reportedly rejected them. He was also linked with a move back to the Blues but in reality, there were no talks between the two parties.
While Hazard is back on the football field, his future in professional football still remains doubtful as he has yet to make a call on whether to quit playing or continue his career.
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