Manchester United’s hopes of signing Christian Nkunku are over for this transfer window.
Nkunku has signed a new contract with RB Leipzig, extending his contract until 2026, the club confirmed. His previous contract expired in 2024.
Manchester United were linked with Nkunku earlier this year, with ESPN reporting that he had been added to the club’s list of transfer targets.
Nkunku scored 34 goals last season and earned his first call-up to the French international squad.
Nkunku signs new deal with RB Leipzig
The big twist in the deal, Buli News reports, is that Nkunku has an escape clause in his contract that can be activated from summer 2023.
The release clause is 60 million (£51 million). This is a very affordable deal for clubs and matches the release clause that Manchester City activated for Erling Haaland earlier this summer.
On the Leipzig website, Nkunku said: “After our great performance in winning the DFB-Pokal, it remained clear that my story is not over here – we want more! I was really impressed with the club’s efforts to keep me.”
Leipzig Technical Director Christopher Vivell added: “There are only a few players who can match the speed, flair and mentality that Christo possesses. In addition, his incredible goals this season.
“Christo has developed into one of the best players in the Bundesliga in Leipzig and has also become a fixture with the French national team. We want to continue writing this success story together.”
The transfer from Manchester City to Haaland was drafted weeks in advance and signed off early in the transfer window.
If United are serious about paying Nkunku’s breakout clause in 2023, this should be settled early and not a deal the club will be looking at next summer.
For now, Nkunku is not an option, and Manchester United additions to the front line will have to come from elsewhere.