Exclusive - Chelsea are prepared to offer up to £150m for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland this summer in the belief that such a huge bid will not be turned down by the Bundesliga side.
Despite spending around £120m last summer on Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, Chelsea are still in the market for an out and out striker this year, especially with Tammy Abraham deemed surplus to requirements and 34-year-old Olivier Giroud also expected to move on.
90min first revealed the Blues’ interest in Haaland way back in December and a striker has always been near the top of their priority list for this summer.
Owner Roman Abramovich would love it to be former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian is one of his favourite players and manager Thomas Tuchel has supported a possible return to Stamford Bridge, although Inter’s recent big money sale of Achraf Hakimi to PSG and expected other departures are now likely to stave off financial pressure to sell Lukaku or Lautaro Martinez.
It will push Chelsea to now focus their efforts back on signing Haaland this summer, even though they know a €75m (£64m) release clause will become active next year. However, that clause will bring enormous competition and with no one else prepared to go big now, Chelsea have spied an opportunity to pull off what would be a huge new British record transfer.
90min understands that Chelsea have already held lengthy talks with Haaland’s camp, which is led by agent Mino Raiola, and that personal terms are not an issue. The 20-year-old Norwegian, who was born in Leeds while his father was based there, is also happy to move to London.
Chelsea are now looking into the finer details of bidding up to £150m for Haaland, although they would still prefer it to be closer to £135m given the vast expense. But because it is not a release clause it is possible to stagger a payment structure, which would help the Blues avoid any Financial Fair Play risks, while a 20-year-old Haaland is an investment both for now and the long-term.
Dortmund, who have already agreed a £73m deal to sell Jadon Sancho to Manchester United, are aware of the situation and are bracing themselves for a British record offer from Chelsea. They also know that no other club is currently prepared to go the same lengths this year.
Dortmund have previously made it clear that they will refuse to sell Haaland and were serious about it. But a source with knowledge of the transfer has told 90min that was when the potential fee was £100m. It is now a different situation with figures between £135m and £150m being talked about, more than double what Dortmund could hope to sell for next year.