Arsenal

DESCHAMPS GIVES ‘DANGEROUS’ ARSENAL, LIVERPOOL TARGET NKUNKU FIRST FRANCE ROLE

France boss Didier Deschamps has praised Christopher Nkunku for becoming ‘even more dangerous’ with RB Leipzig amid transfer interest from Arsenal and Liverpool

Nkunku has stunned Deschamps with his progress at the Red Bull Arena so far this season after scoring 26 goals. He has also created a further 15 over his 38 appearances across all competitions. While featuring in central midfield, on the wing or also as a centre-forward.

Goals and assists have followed Nkunku around the pitch wherever he has played. The 24-year-old has also fired home in the Bundesliga, Champions League, DFB Pokal and Europa League. Yet hitting seven Champions League goals still did not stop their group stage exit.

Nkunku has captivated some of Europe’s top clubs with his performances, with ESPN citing Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid with an interest in a possible transfer from RB Leipzig. Ralf Rangnick has also urged Manchester United to step up their interest.

Rangnick signed Nkunku for Die Roten Bullen while the sporting director for the Bundesliga outfit in 2019. He could now face a €75m (£63m) fee before add-ons to secure a reunion at Old Trafford, per Bild. RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff deems the Frenchman not for sale.

France boss Deschamps could help Mintzlaff strengthen RB Leipzig’s resolve, if Arsenal or Liverpool et al explore Nkunku’s transfer. The Bleus boss has named the versatile threat in his squad for their March internationals and may give Nkunku his senior international bow.

The Paris Saint-Germain product has represented his county at U16 through to U21 levels. But Nkunku had never featured in a senior France squad before Deschamps announced his squad to face the Ivory Coast in Marseille next Friday and South Africa in Lille on March 29.

Deschamps has also waxed lyrical over the progress he has seen from Nkunku this season.

“His spectrum has expanded,” Deschamps said. “He no longer only plays on the wing, but also sometimes in the centre or as a second striker. He’s closer to the goal now, which makes him even more dangerous.”