Chelsea boss Graham Potter refuses to comment on Christopher Nkunku speculation

Chelsea boss Graham Potter has refused to comment on reports claiming RB Leipzig star Christopher Nkunku has signed a pre-contract agreement to move to Stamford Bridge next summer.

It was widely reported on Monday that the west London club had stolen a march on a host of European giants by agreeing to pay Leipzig a fee in excess of the Frenchman’s £52.7million release clause – which becomes active next year.

Nkunku is even believed to have undergone a secret medical and agreed terms with Chelsea – though all parties involved are remaining tight-lipped on the situation.

Leipzig boss Marco Rose dismissed the rumours and now Potter, speaking at a press conference before facing AC Milan in the Champions League, has likewise refused to add anymore fuel to the speculation.

Asked if there was anything he could say about the Nkunku deal, Potter replied: ‘No, as I said before, my answer is I don’t speak about players that aren’t Chelsea players.

‘If you want to ask about any Chelsea players, I’m quite happy to speak about them.

‘But it was the same at Brighton. You get linked to a lot of players, and there’s a lot of names out there. And you can imagine it gets escalated when you’re at a club like Chelsea.

‘But I’ll speak about Chelsea players and not comment about anyone else.’

Probed on whether such early signs of intent from Chelsea’s owners are a positive sign, Potter continued: ‘The guys are ambitious, that’s for sure, and they want to develop the club, they want to develop the team – as we all do.

‘I think I never forget that my job as a head coach is to develop the players that are here, and then to work with the club to align our resources and make good decisions when transfer windows open.

‘But predominantly my job is to help the players that are here and that’s what we’ve been doing.

‘We haven’t seen them that much [because of the international break] but the last few days have been positive I think and I need to focus on that, on helping the guys that are here.’

Potter was also asked about the possibility of signing Cristiano Ronaldo – who has been told he can leave Manchester United in January, with Chelsea having expressed interest in the summer – but again the Blues boss refused to comment.

He replied: ‘Again, we can spend all day asking these questions and I’m not going to speak about anyone else out of the greatest respect for the person you mentioned, and anybody else that anybody else mentions. Whilst they’re not our players I don’t speak about them.’

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