Chelsea are one of the plethora of clubs linked with Erling Haaland, whose contract release clause at Borussia Dortmund will kick in at the end of the season, and new reports claim that they just moved closer to signing him than other clubs.
The Daily Star reports that the biggest financial obstacle to Chelsea in the race for the 21-year-old Norwegian’s signature, Real Madrid, has officially pulled out of the transfer race.
Daily Star claims that Real Madrid is more concerned about the signing of Kylian Mbappe who will be available for free in the summer, and the financial implications of that signing will not afford much room for them to chase Haaland as well.
Chelsea, as well as Manchester City, have been given some hope with the reports but they still face a challenge in Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
Barcelona is especially reported to be focused on landing the former Malmo striker in the summer and club president Joan Laporta is reported to be willing to pull out all the stops to make that signing a reality, even at the expense of any other business for the club in the summer window.
The report claims that £300 million will be needed by any club who wishes to have Haaland don their colours next season. Asides from the £67 million release clause fee to be paid to Dortmund, Haaland’s representatives, as well as his father Alf-Inge Haaland, would require some consultancy fee along with the sign-on bonus the player will receive.
It remains to be seen, however, if Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is interested in the player. The club spent a record £97.5 million in the summer to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge last summer from Internazionale and while the striker has not delivered, Tuchel continues to show belief in the Belgian.
Many have chalked up his struggles to the infamous “striker curse” which has plagued Chelsea for the longest time, which has seen strikers of the highest calibre fail to hit it off at the club.
Barcelona is set to create more problems for Chelsea as reports claim that they have entered the race to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.
The French defender has been on Chelsea’s radar for two seasons, with moves almost materialising for him in the last two windows. However, Barcelona have now entered the race to sign the Frenchman, who wants away from Sevilla.
Chelsea are currently facing a war to keep defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, who both have been contacted by Barcelona ahead of a potential summer move to Camp Nou. reports claim that Azpilicueta’s move to Spain is all but agreed and that the Catalans are nearing a deal with Christensen.
Chelsea also have Barcelona and their president’s close relationship with Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola standing in their way of signing the Norwegian prodigy.
However, the Blues seem to have the upper hand in the chase for Kounde, as it is going to be a tall order for the Catalan club to be able to match Kounde’s €81 million release clause which Sevilla are stubbornly insisting on receiving for the player.