Chelsea-bound Christopher Nkunku will not play until end of February as his recovery from knee injury drags on | The Sun

CHELSEA-BOUND Christopher Nkunku will not play until the end of February at the earliest as his recovery from a knee injury drags on.

The France striker and his club Red Bull Leipzig have targeted the Champions League last 16 clash with Manchester City on February 22 as his comeback date.

Nkunku remains in Paris undergoing treatment for the problem which he picked up just before the World Cup and which stopped him from joining the eventual finalists in Qatar.

Chelsea and Leipzig have yet to formalise the £53 million deal which was triggered by the Premier League side meeting the player’s buy-out clause in his contract.

The date with City is only a loose target with some people fearing Nukunku’s return may come as late as March to ensure his injury is fully fit again.

Chelsea have been pursuing Nkunku for some time and even arranged a secret medical for him in early September as they looked to get ahead of their rivals.


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He was named in Didier Deschamp’s provisional 25-man squad for Qatar but had to withdraw after getting hurt in a collision with Eduardo Camavinga while training at France’s national team HQ in Clairefontaine near Paris.

Chelsea are eager to add firepower to boss Graham Potter’s squad having struggled with forwards in recent seasons.

Belgium star Romelu Lukaku lasted just a season before being sent back to Inter Milan on loan.

Veteran Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is struggling to make an impact after signing in the summer.

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Germany striker Timo Werner lasted only two seasons before he returned to Germany.

Chelsea have won just once in the last seven matches.

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