Arsenal are reportedly set to face competition from local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku.
According to a report from French outlet Foot Mercato, Premier League giants Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are poised to battle it out for the transfer of Christopher Nkunku in the summer transfer window.
Nkunku, 23, came through the youth ranks at French champions Paris Saint-Germain and made his breakthrough at the club. However, a lack of regular starts saw him decide to embark on a new journey with Bundesliga club RB Leipzig, where he has been quite a hit so far.
Since joining the Saxony-based outfit back in the summer of 2019, Nkunku has racked up 76 appearances scoring 12 goals and setting up 24 more for his teammates. Primarily a central attacking midfielder, Nkunku has been used in a variety of roles by manager Julian Nagelsmann and he has thrived in each of the positions he has played in.
Nkunku’s development at Leipzig over the past couple of years has not gone unnoticed, with some of the biggest clubs across Europe, such as La Liga champions Real Madrid casting admiring glances towards the Frenchman. Now, it is being claimed that Arsenal and Tottenham are also interested in the 23-year-old.
Arsenal’s interest in Nkunku should not come as a major surprise given their creative woes this season. The Gunners struggled badly in the first half of the season due to a lack of a creative player in the final third of the pitch. The loan signing of Martin Odegaard and the emergence of Emile Smith Rowe have addressed the issues to some extent.
However, Odegaard’s loan deal runs out at the end of the season. In addition, with the likes of Nicolas Pepe and Willian not performing consistently, there is added pressure on someone like Bukayo Saka to deliver week in week out. So, signing someone like Nkunku, who can play as a No. 10 or out wide could go a long way in sharpening Arsenal’s attacking unit.
Tottenham, meanwhile, will need to replace Gareth Bale, whose loan spell runs out at the end of the season. In addition to that, Erik Lamela will be entering the final year of his contract and a decision on his future will need to be taken as well.
In addition, with Steven Bergwijn struggling and Giovani Lo Celso battling with injuries, Tottenham could certainly do with a versatile star like Nkunku who can play in any role in the final third and offer an added source of goals and creativity.
Both Arsenal and Tottenham are keeping close tabs on the Frenchman, although neither club has made an offer for him yet. RB Leipzig, for their part, would be open to doing business at the right price. The midfielder switched agents to join forces with Pini Zahavi, which could be an indicator that he is ready for the next big step in his career.
It now remains to be seen if either Arsenal or Tottenham act on their interest in Nkunku or some other club decides to swoop in for the RB Leipzig star.