Chelsea-bound €60m star ruled out of World Cup after sustaining injury in training

Chelsea target Christopher Nkunku and Benjamin Pavard during a training session Credit: Alamy
Chelsea target Christopher Nkunku and Benjamin Pavard during a training session Credit: Alamy

Chelsea-linked forward Christopher Nkunku has withdrawn from France’s World Cup squad after picking up an injury in training.

The footage of the RB Leipzig star being tackled by Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga can be seen online.

Nkunku injured his knee as a result of the challenge and was down for a while before limping away.

This is a crushing blow for the 25-year-old, who broke into the France team this year thanks to his fantastic form at club level.

After making his debut in March, Nkunku has picked up eight caps, though he has only played the full 90 minutes once.

The French Football Federation confirmed that Nkunku has been replaced in the World Cup squad by a fellow Bundesliga player, Randal Kolo Muani.

Kolo Muani joined Eintracht Frankfurt from Nantes on a free transfer in July and has 15 goal contributions in 14 league matches this term.

An FFF statement read: “Didier Deschamps has decided to summon the Eintracht Frankfurt striker to replace that of RB Leipzig.

“The FIFA Medical Committee having endorsed the withdrawal of Christopher Nkunku due to injury, Didier Deschamps had the possibility of calling a player to replace him.

“The national coach has decided to call on Randal Kolo Muani.

“The Eintracht Frankfurt striker, currently in Japan with his club, will join the French team in Doha on Thursday morning.

“The French Football Federation thanks Eintracht Frankfurt for its cooperation.”

Nkunku has been linked with a move to the Premier League for a while now.

Following his incredible 2021-22 campaign – in which he scored 35 and assisted 20 in 52 matches – he penned a new Leipzig contract.

This was a surprise at the time given Chelsea and Manchester United’s notable interest.

However, it was swiftly revealed that there is a €60million release clause in his new deal.

This a very respectable deal in the current market, and while it is no €58m for Erling Haaland, it is still a modern-day bargain.

Recent reports suggest that Chelsea are extremely close to announcing a deal to sign Nkunku.

It was revealed earlier this season that the Frenchman has already completed his Blues medical.

This has been confirmed by transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, who has said Chelsea are “really confident” they will secure the signing.

“Chelsea are really confident,” Romano told GiveMeSport.

“Chelsea are really confident because the player has already had a medical with the club.

“It was in September; then we had some denials because it’s normal to protect the player and protect the clubs in September.

“But what I’m told is that the medical was with Chelsea staff and for Chelsea.”

Romano has also confirmed on Twitter that the Blues are trying to negotiate the transfer fee with Leipzig.

They are, however, willing to pay the €60m buyout clause if it comes to that, the Italian journalist says.

Nkunku is reportedly ‘ready’ to accept a move to Stamford Bridge. It seems to be a matter of when, not if.

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The article Chelsea-bound €60m star ruled out of World Cup after sustaining injury in training appeared first on Football365.com.