Norway international Erling Haaland in action against Greece in a friendly in Malaga, Spain, last week
Credit: GETTY IMAGES
Erling Haaland is believed to be interested in a move to Chelsea if the European champions can find a way of negotiating a deal with Borussia Dortmund – either for this summer or next.
Telegraph Sport reported on Monday that Chelsea have not abandoned their interest in Haaland, despite Dortmund’s insistence the striker is not for sale this summer.
It is understood that Chelsea are not only exploring the possibility of trying to sign Haaland this year, but also of setting up an agreement for next year if Dortmund remain determined to keep him for another 12 months.
Chelsea have a good relationship with Dortmund from the deal that saw Christian Pulisic move to London in a transfer that was negotiated in January 2019 for him to join in the summer of that year.
Whether or not it would be possible to come to a similar arrangement over Haaland if Dortmund will not agree to any deal this summer remains to be seen.
That may also rest on whether or not Chelsea can sign a different big-name striker this summer if Dortmund refuse to let Haaland go this year, but their choices appear limited.
A deal to sign Haaland would cost over £150 million this summer, but the Norwegian is reported to have a release clause in his Dortmund contract that would allow him to leave for between £65m and £86m next year.
Currently only Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United would be able to afford to sign Haaland this summer, but Real Madrid are thought to be hoping he stays at Dortmund one more year so they can make an offer in 12 months.
That has persuaded Chelsea to try to find out whether or not any deal can be set up for now or in the future for Haaland, who is thought to be attracted by the prospect of a move to Stamford Bridge.
Whether or not Chelsea would be his preferred destination if City, United and Real Madrid all at some stage made bids is not known. But Chelsea feel optimistic enough about their chances not to have abandoned their interest and have also attempted to find out whether or not Dortmund would be interested in Tammy Abraham.
The fact Chelsea are pursuing Haaland does not mean that they have turned away from Romelu Lukaku, who last week insisted he will stay at Inter Milan.
Chelsea want to sign a new striker and currently have a number of balls in the air with City also in the market for a replacement for Sergio Agüero.
Should City sign Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur, then Chelsea could get a free run at Haaland and Lukaku while other clubs, including Real, are hamstrung by the financial impact of the coronavirus.
While United are interested in Haaland and Kane, their priority is to sign a wide player with Jadon Sancho their number one target and Dortmund ready to sell the England winger.