Rose and Potter focused on Champions League amid Nkunku bumper deal speculation

By Sports Desk October 04, 2022

RB Leipzig boss Marco Rose brushed off fresh speculation about Christopher Nkunku's future after the France international was strongly linked with Chelsea.

Reports have suggested Nkunku's Leipzig contract contains a £52.4million (€60m) release clause, and Chelsea are said to be keen suitors of the prolific attacker.

Nkunku scored 35 goals and added 20 assists in all competitions during a remarkable individual campaign last term, and has already scored six times in the Bundesliga this season.

With Nkunku likely to play a pivotal role when Leipzig attempt to get off the mark in the Champions League against Celtic on Wednesday, Rose is ignoring transfer rumours.

"It's speculation, we don't comment on it. It doesn't bother us, it doesn't interest us," the former Borussia Dortmund coach said.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter took a similar stance ahead of the Blues' Champions League clash with Milan, saying: "As I've said before, my answer is I don't speak about players that aren't Chelsea players.

"If you want to ask me about any Chelsea players, I'm quite happy to speak about them. It was the same at Brighton. You get linked with a lot of players; there's a lot of names out there.

"As you can imagine, it gets escalated at a club like Chelsea. I'll speak about Chelsea players and not comment about anybody else."

Nkunku has been involved in eight Champions League goals since the start of last season (seven goals, one assist) – twice as many as any of his Leipzig team-mates (four – Emil Forsberg and Andre Silva).

However, the versatile 24-year-old is yet to score or assist in the competition this campaign, with Leipzig suffering back-to-back losses against Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid.

Should Leipzig be beaten on Wednesday, it will represent the second consecutive Champions League campaign in which the Bundesliga outfit have started with three losses, and Rose is wary of the threat posed by Celtic.

"They have a team which is very active on the pitch, with a lot of pace. They are very attacking with a clear idea," Rose said.

"They are hard-working. They have two or three lads from Japan. It's fun watching them. It's just a great team and not a team that thinks defensively or about parking the bus.

"It will be our task to put them in difficulties. We will find spaces and we will try to take advantage."

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