Rumours regarding Chelsea’s pursuit of Erling Haaland have taken another twist after Borussia Dortmund’s director sought to explain the Norwegian’s absence from their fitness camp.
The Blues have been closely linked to the striker sensation since they were crowned Champions League winners in May, with reports that a £150 million bid is impending.
And Dortmund appear all too aware of the admiration their star is receiving in Blighty after Michael Zorc was asked why Haaland had not reported for the first day of their summer training on Monday.
The Black and Yellows sports director was quizzed about Haaland’s absence during an interview with Sky Sport Germany and jokingly replied: “Erling is already in England…”
Signing a top-level striker is understood to be among Thomas Tuchel’s priorities at Stamford Bridge this summer.
Timo Werner procured a more prominent role in the team after Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January, but the German’s finishing left a lot to be desired.
Academy graduate Tammy Abraham has also been linked with the exit alongside fringe star Olivier Giroud, although the latter penned a one-year contract extension with the club in June.
Haaland, 20, looks like the perfect fit after scoring 57 times in his first 59 games for Dortmund, enjoying a prolific first 18 months playing in one of Europe’s top leagues.
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That run includes a record of 41 goals in as many appearances for the club last season alone, leaving little wonder as to why Dortmund are so reluctant to sell.
To put that figure into context, Chelsea scored 58 goals throughout their entire 2020/21 Premier League campaign, and Werner netted only 12 times in 52 appearances across all competitions.
Premier League rivals Manchester United and Manchester City have also been linked with Haaland, who has a release clause that will see his price plummet to £68million next summer.
The Red Devils have already signed Jadon Sancho in a deal worth £72.6m, easing the pressure on Dortmund to sell while his price is at its most valuable.
Haaland—who was born in Leeds—was seen partying alongside City winger Mahrez on the Greek island of Mykonos during the summer, with Pep Guardiola hoping to replace the departed Sergio Aguero.
Zorc offered no serious explanation as to why Dortmund’s leading man was not present for fitness testing in Germany, but more questions are sure to follow if he doesn’t check in soon.
Haaland—whose agent, Mino Raiola, also represents United star Paul Pogba—is reported to have already agreed personal terms over a move to west London.
Chelsea appear to have stolen an edge in that they’re willing to pay big money for the youngster now, but the race will open up considerably if Haaland is still at Dortmund in 12 months.
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