Chelsea chief Marina Granovskaia taking out-of-character approach in transfer market

Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League

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Chelsea director and transfer mastermind Marina Granovskaia is not following her usual pattern in the transfer market. The Blues executive typically moves fast and early in search of new players, but has yet to complete on any of the club’s top targets this summer.

Granovskaia’s ruthless spending last year saw the club bring in Timo Werner, Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech before many of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals had even got the ball rolling on their transfer window business.

But the 2021 transfer operations aren’t progressing so quickly for Roman Abramovich’s right-hand woman.

Chelsea are known to be on the hunt for a new striker to spearhead an attack capable of challenging Manchester City for the Premier League title next season, but talks with top target Erling Haaland are still in their infancy.

Interest has reportedly also been shown in bringing Romelu Lukaku or Harry Kane to Stamford Bridge if the Haaland approach is unsuccessful.

But neither Inter Milan nor Tottenham Hotspur are willing to sell at this stage.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed that Chelsea and Granovskaia are still some way from sorting their striker situation.

“Chelsea will certainly buy a new striker but no decision has yet been made,” Romano said. “Borussia Dortmund are hoping to keep Haaland, while Lukaku is not on the market at the moment.”

And it’s not just new arrivals that are causing an issue, but departures are slow too.

“Pending a final decision on the new club for Tammy Abraham who wants to have more space, AC Milan asked Olivier Giroud for free after reaching an agreement on personal terms with the French forward,” Romano said.

Haaland remains Chelsea’s top transfer priority this summer, despite the lack of progress on talks.

The 20-year-old became the fastest player to score 20 Champions League goals earlier this year, reaching the milestone in just 14 matches in Europe’s premium club competition.

And Chelsea’s status as European Champions is unlikely to hurt their chances of securing the Norway international’s signature.

“I have been thinking about the Champions League my whole life, wanting to play there,” Haaland revealed recently.

“Maybe it gives me one percent extra motivation when I go out on the pitch with the anthem.

“That’s my big dream: to win the Champions League one day. Hopefully I can lift that trophy and that really would be, well, amazing.”

Whoever Chelsea do sign will start next season with a home game against Crystal Palace on the weekend of August 14 before a tough opening run of matches.

Tuchel’s side face two more London derbies early in the campaign, Arsenal away on the second weekend and Spurs away in mid-September, with fixtures against Liverpool and Manchester also coming in the opening six rounds of the season.

Clubs can still do business beyond the start of the season this year, with the window shutting at midnight on August 31.
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