Chelsea are ready to join Manchester City in the pursuit of Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland in 2020/21, despite already spending around £120m on Timo Werner and Kai Havertz alone in just the last few months – and another £100m on other players.
City are in the market for a new forward as they look to a future beyond an ageing Sergio Aguero, with few at the club having enough faith in Gabriel Jesus to step into the Argentine’s shoes.
Haaland is one of three top forwards in Europe that many expect to be available in 2021, alongside Kylian Mbappe and Inter star Lautaro Martinez. But the likelihood appears that Mbappe will go to Real Madrid if he is on the move, while Martinez has expressed an interest in joining Barcelona.
City have pre-existing connections with Haaland as his father, Alf-Inge, spent three years with the club. Haaland Jr. has been pictured wearing a City shirt as a child, even after his dad had retired.
Sources have confirmed to 90min that City consider themselves favourites to sign Haaland. However, Chelsea have also made it known to the player’s camp that they are very interested.
Chelsea’s stance has actually taken many by surprised as it was previously assumed that the Blues would not be going back into the transfer market for another forward, having already signed both Werner and Havertz and generally spent heavily on new players.
In public, Haaland has pledged his immediate future to Dortmund, but 90min understands that the 20-year-old Norwegian is yet to make up his mind and could yet decide to leave Dortmund in the summer. Those tracking him believe he will be on the move in 2021.
Dortmund would ask for well in excess of £100m to sell at the end of the season. There have long been rumours of a release clause in the region of £68m that becomes active in 2022. Dortmund, however, are adamant there are no such clauses in his deal that would allow him to go this year.
The reasons why Haaland is so coveted are obvious. He doesn't turn 21 until July but has already scored over 82 career goals at senior club level since 2017. As many as 44 of those came in a phenomenal breakout season in 2019/20, with another 17 already in 2020/21.