Manchester United target has 'decided to leave' RB Leipzig, but will he?

Manchester United target Christopher Nkunku has reportedly 'decided to leave' current club RB Leipzig this summer, but matters may be complicated by previous comments made by his club's CEO, and the fee that could be demanded.

Manchester United are in desperate need of attacking reinforcements this summer, with Cristiano Ronaldo now 37 years old, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani both set to leave for nothing at the end of the season, and question marks over the futures of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

With incoming boss Erik ten Hag favouring a system similar to the high-press offered by RB Leipzig, on top of Ralf Rangnick’s connections with the club, a move for Nkunku makes sense even before his impressive season is considered.

The Frenchman, who recently made his national team debut, has scored 31 goals and provided 20 assists in 48 games across all competitions for his side, while his versatility has seen him play on either wing, as a number 10, and as a striker.

And, as per L'Equipe, the former PSG man has decided this summer is the one to move on in, with the French outlet claiming that 'his decision isn’t based on RBL’s inability to challenge for trophies, but more on a desire to play with and against the European game’s best players on a weekly basis.'

Nkunku forced to stay?

Questions do arise from this, however, not least the claim from the club hierarchy last month that Nkunku will be an RB Leipzig player next season. As per the same report,' the club want to challenge for the Bundesliga and plan to invest heavily this summer, building their project around the former PSG player – who is under contract until 2024. Even an offer of €100m might not be accepted'.

Meanwhile, German outlet Bild suggests that even if the demanded fee is met, it could be a difficult deal to get over the line. They suggest that because his two national team caps don’t qualify him as a top foreigner, there would need to be approval from the Premier League's governing body.

Additionally, there are question marks over just how secure his position in Didier Deschamp’s French squad is, and whether a move to Manchester United just three months before a World Cup would boost or hinder his progress with Les Bleus. Looking at the plight of Jadon Sancho, it could well be the latter.

This could be one that drags on all summer long.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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