France have been dealt a World Cup blow with the news that striker Christopher Nkunku will miss the tournament through injury.

The RB Leipzig star, who has been linked with a January move to Chelsea, had already hooked up with Didier Deschamps’ squad ahead of the tournament.

However, he came off worse in a 50-50 with Real Madrid midfielder Eduardo Camavinga at Les Blues’ Clairefontaine training base. While initial reports suggested he was hopeful that the injury was not serious, subsequent scans have proven otherwise and he will now miss out on France’s World Cup defence.

“Injured in training, Christopher Nkunku must give up participating in the World Cup,” a statement from the French FA said.

“The whole group shares Christopher’s sadness and wishes him a speedy recovery.”

No news has yet emerged about how serious the injury will be, but Chelsea will be watching on nervously. They had earmarked the 25-year-old as the man to inject some life into their failing attack in January.

Some reports had even claimed the deal was so advanced that a medical had already been done, but it remains to be seen whether a deal will now be viable.

Nkunku has had a blistering season so far, scoring 12 goals in just 14 Bundesliga games for Leipzig.

RMC Sport report that Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani will be drafted into the French World Cup squad as Nkunku’s replacement.

Harry Symeou hosts Scott Saunders & Toby Cudworth to look back on Korea/Japan ’02 as part of the ‘Our World Cups’ series. We take a trip down memory lane – join us!


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