Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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Chelsea need to raise around £86million (€100m) in order to launch a concerted bid to sign Erling Haaland this summer and have four players they could offload to help reach that amount, according to reports.
The Blues have very few holes in their squad to fill this summer but manager Thomas Tuchel has earmarked a few positions where he would like to strengthen for a Premier League title push.
With Reece James blossoming as a right-sided centre-back, Tuchel wanted to sign Achraf Hakimi but Paris Saint-Germain will instead pay around £60m to bring in the Inter Milan wing-back.
Chelsea’s biggest summer objective appears to be the acquisition of a new centre-forward with Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland the most attractive proposition for them.
The 20-year-old scored 41 goals in 41 games for Dortmund in 2020-21 and added 12 assists, helping the German giants to win the DFB Pokal and qualify for Champions League football despite their struggles in the league.
Every major club around Europe would love to sign the Norway international, who becomes available for around £64m next summer thanks to a release clause in his contract.
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But Chelsea are one of the few clubs considering a bid for Haaland 12 months early in order to beat the competition, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona among the player’s many admirers.
A deal this year would cost any interested club around £150m without accounting for Haaland’s wage demands and any agent fees involved, which would significantly increase the requisite financial commitment.
Sunday World say that Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich views Haaland as a dream summer signing but must sell players in order to comply with UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules having spent big last summer.
It’s claimed talks are underway over the futures of several Chelsea players with Fikayo Tomori having already joined AC Milan permanently for around £25m.
Still, Chelsea must raise another £86m and all of Kepa Arrizabalaga, Ross Barkley and Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud could potentially depart per the report.
Arrizabalaga is only the second choice goalkeeper to Edouard Mendy while midfielder Barkley spent last season out on loan at Aston Villa.
Abraham fell by the wayside once Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard midway through the campaign and Giroud was also used only sparingly, although he recently signed a one-year contract extension so that Chelsea can avoid losing him for free this summer.
Transfermarkt values indicate Chelsea could expect to bring in around £68m if the quartet were sold, meaning more departures would be necessary.
Should the Londoners be able to raise the required amount then they would then be able to table a bid sizeable enough to make Dortmund think about selling Haaland a year earlier than planned.
But if they cannot do so, Chelsea could well turn to cheaper alternatives with Inter Milan frontman Romelu Lukaku – who used to play at Stamford Bridge – one such option.
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On the other hand, Chelsea could trust in the likes of Timo Werner and Kai Havertz to improve their goalscoring output before looking to sign Haaland at his discounted release clause in a year’s time.
Yet with Tuchel’s ambitions to compete with Manchester City for the Premier League title, it is expected Chelsea will go big in their search of a new number nine in the coming weeks.
Clubs across Europe are expected to step up their business once Euro 2020 comes to a close a week on Sunday (July 11).
Chelsea’s pre-season friendly programme is currently scheduled to get underway with a match against Arsenal on August 1 in the Mind Series, with another game against Tottenham three days later.
Tuchel will want as many new faces in the door as early as possible to aid his pre-season preparations with Chelsea’s competitive fixture list kicking off with the UEFA Super Cup final at Windsor Park in Belfast against Villarreal on August 11.
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