Newcastle United and Chelsea transfer 'target' out of World Cup following major injury blow

France have been dealt a blow after RB Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku was forced to withdraw from their World Cup squad following a training ground injury.

The 25-year-old has been in fine form in Germany with 17 goals in 23 games so far this season after scoring 35 goals in 52 matches in all competitions in 2021-22. His form has attracted interest from clubs across Europe, including Chelsea and Newcastle United.

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The Telegraph reported in the summer that Nkunku was an ambitious target for Eddie Howe’s side, but the player opted to remain at Leipzig.

France's national football team forward Christopher Nkunku (R) reacts after injured during a training session at the team's training camp in Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines, south of Paris, on November 15, 2022, five days ahead of the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Bertrand GUAY / AFP) (Photo by BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images)

And just days before the start of the World Cup, the player has been hit by a devastating blow as he collided with Real Madrid’s Eduardo Camavinga in France’s final training session at Clairefontaine before heading out to Qatar. Nkunku injured his left knee and has subsequently been ruled out of the tournament.

Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani comes into the side in his place.