Chelsea readying Erling Haaland swoop

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Chelsea are preparing for a strong offensive to try and sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer, according to Simon Johnson of The Athletic.

The 20-year-old striker has so far bagged 35 goals in as many appearances in all competitions since arriving to the Signal Iduna Park a year ago. Looking at this term alone his numbers are even more impressive – 19 goals in 17 games.

Dortmund signed Haaland for only €20 million last January from RB Salzburg, on a contract lasting four and a half years. There is a release clause embedded in there, set at €75m, but it doesn’t come into effect before the summer of 2022.

Chelsea, however, have no mind to wait that long. They intend to persuade the Bundesliga side to do business this summer. They believe they would thus head off most of the competition, who are believed to be waiting for the clause to kick in before making their move for the Norwegian’s signature.

That obviously means the London Blues would have to pay a fee considerably larger than €75m. Transfermarkt has Haaland valued at €100m at the moment, and even that seems too shy for what Dortmund are expected to demand. They wanted €120m for Jadon Sancho last summer and weren’t prepared to go any lower. For Haaland, they’ll probably want more.

Chelsea are likely to part ways with Olivier Giroud, if not this month then in the summer, and they want a player who can not only fill in the gap, but seriously improve their attacking section. It would certainly be a bold, ambitious move, but it remains to be seen if it’s realistic.

Two attacking players arrived to Stamford Bridge from the Bundesliga last summer for relatively big money, Timo Werner from RB Leipzig and Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. Neither of the two Germany internationals has so far made the impact expected, which poses the question of manager Frank Lampard’s ability to utilize their talents. This is something Haaland and his representatives are certain to look into, should an offer from Chelsea arrive.

Further more, the very scenario Chelsea wish to avoid would suit Haaland fine – in 2022, he would likely have a wide array of options when it comes to a potential destination.