Chelsea have reportedly seen their opening offer for Erling Haaland rejected by Borussia Dortmund, according to Sky Germany. After weeks of intense speculation, the Blues have finally made their first move for the Norwegian striker who is Thomas Tuchel’s No 1 target but as they have said all summer, Dortmund are insistent Haaland is not for sale.
Despite that, agent Mino Raiola continues to be open-minded in regards to his client’s future as he continues to speak with Chelsea in the background.
He has been told quite clearly by Dortmund that they do not want to sell Haaland at any price.
The 20-year-old’s £64million release clause becomes active next summer and is set to spark a scramble.
Yet having already lost Jadon Sancho to Manchester United, Dortmund are not willing to entertain offers for their talisman.
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Tuchel is solely focused on landing a new No 9 despite winning the Champions League last season.
Match-winner Kai Havertz operated as a false-nine in the final against Manchester City but Chelsea have lacked a clinical, goalscoring striker.
Timo Werner was supposed to provide that but he failed to live up to expectations in front of goal since arriving from RB Leipzig last summer.
He has instead played from the left-side of attack and now Haaland is deemed to be the final piece of the jigsaw.
Tuchel confirmed several months ago that Chelsea were interested in signing Harry Kane, should he be available.
However, they now appeared to be focused on signing Haaland and they have a free run on the Dortmund striker.
Barcelona and Real Madrid held talks in Spain with Raiola and Alf-Inge Haaland but both clubs cannot finance a deal.
Manchester United finally convinced Edinson Cavani to sign a one-year contract extension and therefore no longer need a new centre-forward.
Meanwhile, City are focusing their efforts on signing Kane although Daniel Levy is expected to win the battle and keep his star striker in north London.
Chelsea are preparing to include Tammy Abraham as a makeweight in a big-money bid for Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland this summer, according to reports. The Blues are believed to be keen admirers of the 20-year-old, who has established himself as one of the world’s best young players since joining the Bundesliga outfit in January of last year.
Haaland has scored 57 goals in just 59 appearances for Dortmund in all competitions, earning links to a number of Europe’s biggest clubs in the process.
Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester City have all been credited with an interest in the Norway international, but Chelsea appear to be the frontrunners in the race for his signature.
The west London club are in desperate need of a top-class striker to lead the line in advance of a renewed Premier League title challenge next season.
Timo Werner has struggled to fire on all cylinders since joining from RB Leipzig last summer, while Olivier Giroud looks set to sign for AC Milan in the coming days.
Meanwhile, Abraham has fallen drastically out of favour under Thomas Tuchel despite finishing as the club’s joint-top scorer in all competitions last season.
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A move for Haaland appears to have been prioritised by Chelsea, but Dortmund are said to value their man at around £150million, with their firm stance threatening to pour cold water on the possibility of a Stamford Bridge switch this summer.
However, the newly-crowned European champions are planning to mitigate this by including Abraham as part of a player-plus-cash deal, according to the Daily Mirror.
The report claims that Aston Villa and West Ham United have been keeping tabs on the 23-year-old, but have both been informed that he could be used as a makeweight in any Chelsea move for Haaland.
The Blues reportedly value Abraham at £50m, which suggests that they could be prepared to shell out £100m for Dortmund’s prized asset in addition to sending the former Bristol City loanee the other way.
Despite Chelsea’s internal optimism over their newly-hatched plan, Haaland’s current employers are said to be hell-bent on keeping him at the Westfalenstadion for at least another season as they prepare to chase a first Bundesliga title in ten years.
Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke previously suggested that the forward will not leave the club under any circumstances this summer.
“I have the clear expectation that Erling Haaland will play for us next year,” Watzke told Sport Bild in May. “And I don’t waste any thoughts on anything else.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal icon Paul Merson recently urged Chelsea to act on their reported interest in Haaland ahead of next season in spite of Dortmund’s opposition to a move.
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“Of all the teams who are in for Erling Haaland, Chelsea are the ones who need him most,” he wrote in the Daily Star.
“They have always been successful with someone who has a presence up front and Haaland has that. He’s going to score bundles wherever he goes.
“And if you buy him this summer, you still have the prospect of being able to sell him for a profit later down the line because of his age.”
You’d do well to find a Manchester United transfer round-up not centered on something about Tottenham striker Harry Kane‘s future right now. Unsurprisingly, the want-away Spurs talisman’s next move is a hot topic at present, with United, Manchester City and Chelsea all feasible destinations.
United’s stance on signing Kane, with their interest obvious but the exact chances of any bid less clear, promises to have huge repercussions on their plans for the rest of the window.
Opt to go big for the England captain, who will cost them at least £150million in transfer fees before even considering wages, and United are unlikely to be able to sign an elite-level centre-back as well for example.
Go for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho at £80m and perhaps also bringing Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane to Manchester, at around £40m or more, becomes more realistic.
The United hierarchy therefore have to ask themselves how important it is that they sign a world-class centre-forward, or whether they can afford to pass on Kane and potentially let him join City or Chelsea.
The 27-year-old Spurs frontman certainly seems determined to quit the north London outfit, and he wants to sit down and have an “honest conversation” with chairman Daniel Levy.
Cristiano Ronaldo is another potential high-profile acquisition as an alternative to Kane with Juventus’ Champions League qualification uncertain and the Portuguese still going strong at 36.
Serie A’s top scorer with 29 goals, United are thought to be keeping an eye on Ronaldo’s situation in Turin amid the possibility of a blockbuster return should Juve miss out on the top four in Italy.
Yet while speculation swirls particularly over Kane and now Ronaldo too, there is one man whose future was previously the talk of the town who has been consigned to the background – Dortmund’s Erling Braut Haaland.
When Mino Raiola and the player’s father Alf-Inge Haaland were holding meetings about the player’s future with Real Madrid and Barcelona, everyone was talking about him, but now discussions over the big Norwegian’s future are no longer as prominent.
Yet the 20-year-old has continued to excel for Dortmund nonetheless and on Saturday scored a brace to end the season on 27 Bundesliga goals, only outscored by Eintracht Frankfurt’s Andre Silva (28) and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (41) in Germany’s top tier.
Across all competitions, Haaland concluded the campaign with 41 goals and 12 assists in as many appearances, despite the fact he does not even turn 21 years old until July. He now has a summer off with his country having failed to qualify for the Euros.
The Norway international’s overall record across his spells with Molde, Red Bull Salzburg and Dortmund – whom he left to join in January 2020 for £17m – reads: 136 games, 106 goals, 28 assists.
In the right attack at the right team, Haaland is a Ballon d’Or winner primed to score 500-plus goals at club level. That’s why Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man United, Man City and Chelsea all like him.
Kane and Ronaldo might be the more attainable signings in the immediate summer but Haaland is the most long-term of the trio, and the one best equipped to make United title challengers not just next season or in the next three or four, but the next 10.
The towering Leeds-born frontman looks ready to rival players such as Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe and Sancho for the tag of world’s best forward in the post-Lionel Messi and Ronaldo era.
And in Solskjaer, he would be working with a man he already knows well having played under his countryman at Molde. The United boss has repeatedly taken the change to laud his compatriot’s talents in the eye of the public in recent months.
While passing on Kane is risky and United fans might love a Ronaldo reunion, there is plenty of sense behind signing multiple players to improve the team such as Sancho and Varane this summer and then adding the final piece in a Haaland next year.
Such deals wouldn’t be easy to pull off given the competition but while others are focused on the likes of Kane, perhaps United would be wise to keep conversations with Haaland’s representatives going.
Getting the Dortmund striker to Old Trafford would mark a glorious start for United’s new-look recruitment staff, and could lead to even more glory on the pitch.
Borussia Dortmund wonderkid Erling Haaland had to look away in the stands as his teammate Mateu Morey suffered a horrific injury against Holsten Kiel in the German cup semifinal on Saturday, finding his knee stuck in the turf.
The third division minnows, who had upset the odds to knock out domestic rulers and Champions League holders Bayern Munich on penalties earlier in the competition, were outclassed at the Signal Iduna Park.
A brace from Gio Reyna and goals by Marco Reus, Thorgan Hazard and Jude Bellingham gave the hosts a 5-0 and a date in the final with RB Leipzig.
Yet it was the horrendous incident involving Morey that stole the headlines.
MADRE DE DIOS LO QUE LE ACABA DE PASAR A MATEU MOREY 😱😱 Ojalá sea lo menos posible pero tiene pinta de haberse destrozado la rodilla entera… pic.twitter.com/73GQurlKFs
— Forza Atleti (@Alberto1903_1) May 1, 2021
Ruled out of the match through injury and watching from the stands, golden boy Erling Haaland looked away in horror as his teammate twisted his knee at a shuddering angle while stretching to control the ball.
“We have to wait and see what the investigations reveal.”
Ex-Liverpool star Emre Can vowed: “Of course we are happy about [getting to] the final, but Mateu’s injury seemed bad.
“We will support him no matter how long he is out. It hurts us all.”
Spain youth prospect Morey had been enjoying a breakthrough campaign at Dortmund, featuring in 23 games for them so far.
Brought on in the 62nd minute with the score already 5-0, his cameo lasted just 12 minutes when the grim accident ended his afternoon and season.
Stretchers were immediately called for Morey, who was replaced by Belgium international Thomas Meunier. Dortmund are unsure how long he will be back for.
Offering their support, Dortmund wrote on Twitter: “If there is anyone who will give their all to come back stronger, it’s Mateu. We’re all with you.”
Haaland echoed the sentiment, sharing a photo of Instagram of himself with his close friend, adding: “Come back stronger.”
⚫️ Fur Dortmund nach Berlin 🟡 Gutted to have to miss the final, but I will be your biggest fan in the stands! I unfortunately have to undergo surgery and will be working hard to come back stronger. The road to recovery starts now! HEJA @bvb ⚫️🟡 pic.twitter.com/axmiP8nHrO
— Mateu Jaume (@mateujaume2) May 2, 2021
Taking to his own Twitter account, Morey posted a photo of himself smiling with thumbs and his feet up on Sunday afternoon.
“Gutted to have to miss the final but I will be your biggest fan in the stands,” he said.
“I unfortunately have to undergo surgery and will be working hard to come back stronger. The road to recovery starts now.”
Man Utd: What could tempt Haaland to Old Trafford?
Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland was given a golden chance to prove his Premier League credentials against runaway leaders Manchester City in Tuesday evening’s Champions League quarter-final clash at the Etihad Stadium. The 20-year-old has long been linked with a move to England’s top flight, with Manchester United and Chelsea said to be among those vying for his signature.
The Red Devils are particularly in need of a world-class striker ahead of a renewed title challenge next season, with veteran forward Edinson Cavani likely to move on upon the expiry of his contract at the end of the campaign.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted that he remains in regular contact with Haaland from their time together at Molde, and is more than likely to see his former protege as a top target ahead of the summer transfer window.
The Norwegian youngster has been ripping it up in the Bundesliga and the Champions League all season but faced arguably his biggest test yet on Tuesday against the best side in Europe on their own patch.
At least one crucial away goal was the aim ahead of the return leg in eight days’ time, with Haaland the man tasked with leading the line, flanked by Marco Reus and debutant Ansgar Knauff on the wings.
But the truth is that, aside from producing a moment of brilliance late on with a crucial assist, he never really got too many opportunities to show off his true ability in front of goal, which can only be a good thing for United if their noisy neighbours decide to draw the conclusion that he simply failed to impress by not scoring on the biggest stage.
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United target Haaland popped up with a late assist against City (Image: GETTY)
The former Red Bull Salzburg man started the match brightly, with Dortmund enjoying the upper hand in the opening five minutes.
So many comparisons have been made between Haaland and the no-nonsense centre-forwards of old, given the Norway international’s imposing frame, frightening physical attributes and enviable competitive mentality despite his tender years.
Although City, as expected, held much of the possession throughout the opening period and the rest of the match, Haaland’s raw energy when off the ball was clear to see as he charged down the opposing defenders with a burning, old-school desire to shake things up and make his opponents uncomfortable.
When Dortmund found themselves with the ball at their feet, he stayed firmly central, allowing the two wingers to weave along the flanks and play off him in order to try and make things happen.
City were dominant throughout the quarter-final first-leg clash (Image: GETTY)
He released Jude Bellingham early on for the ex-Birmingham City teenager to sting the palms of Ederson between the sticks, displaying the link-up ability that has helped his game to flourish with the Bundesliga hopefuls.
Haaland often found himself isolated up top but this was through no fault of his own, with City simply too strong in their current form to allow the visitors much hope of stringing more than ten passes together at the best of times.
Nevertheless, he consistently showed good positional awareness, always waiting and watching for that one chance and making a number of intelligent runs, although the defensive pairing of Ruben Dias and John Stones managed to immediately smother him when the ball came his way with 25 minutes on the clock.
On the other occasions that he did pick up possession, he showed that he is more than just a finishing specialist, contributing to attacks with strong hold-up play to buy time for his team-mates.
His passing was crisp and controlled, with his limited opportunities to impress still carrying the hallmarks of a top-class striker with an elite all-round game, fit for a club like United or indeed any other side in Europe.
The 20-year-old steamed past Dias in a flash of brilliance (Image: GETTY)
Shortly after the interval, a huge opportunity finally came his way, and he was desperately unlucky not to take it.
The fearsome Norwegian latched onto a dangerous through ball, powering past Dias, who is potentially the best central defender in the Premier League, like he was not even there and leaving the Portugal native with a face full of grass as he bore down on goal.
He quickly managed to get the shot away despite being off-balance, but his effort was thwarted by a fine save, with Ederson getting down low to deny that all-important away goal.
However, the elusive equaliser finally arrived with six minutes remaining and Haaland was at the centre of the crucial move.
The Norwegian forward made an important late contribution (Image: GETTY)
A deft, precise flick around the corner under pressure put Reus through one-on-one, and the veteran attacker duly delivered to ensure Haaland would once again play a huge role in his side’s Champions League charge, even though his name was not on the scoresheet at full-time.
Although he did not manage to establish an overwhelming dominance on proceedings against City, who snuck a last-gasp winner through Phil Foden in the dying seconds, Haaland did more than enough to show that he could mix it against the Premier League’s very best sides, especially with the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba behind him at United.
The Red Devils would need to shell out an arm and a leg to secure his signature, but it could be more than worth it in seasons to come as Dortmund clearly have an enormous asset on their hands.
It is frightening to think that Haaland is still only 20 years of age, and a summer move to one of the world’s biggest clubs that managed to get the very best out of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo as a youngster could be the catalyst needed to take his career to the next level.
The best players in world football make a statement when the eyes of the world are upon them. It’s what they do. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have done so on a frankly obscene number of occasions, while Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe followed suit with a hat-trick against Messi’s Barcelona at the Nou Camp in February.
And while Borussia Dortmund frontman Erling Haaland stands on 33 goals in 32 appearances this season and 49 in 50 overall for the Bundesliga heavyweights, his chance to make the biggest statement of his short career so far presents itself tonight in a trip to Manchester City.
Dortmund take on the Premier League leaders, poised to secure a third league title in the past four seasons in the coming weeks, at the Etihad in the first leg of their quarter-final clash tonight (8pm). The German giants come into it shrouded in doubt and drama.
A 2-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt at the weekend leaves Dortmund seven points adrift of fourth place in the Bundesliga with seven games left of the campaign. Having won just four of 12 league matches since mid-January, the Yellow Blacks appear unlikely to launch a late charge into the Champions League spots.
And so their best hope of playing in the lucrative European Cup next season might be winning it for just the second time in their history, and the first time since 1996.
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Their path to doing so could hardly be more difficult. Two legs against Man City, arguably the best team in Europe, and a potential semi-final showdown with German conquerors and holders Bayern Munich or Mbappe’s PSG.
Get through those and you’re faced with either Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea or Porto in the final, with just the 21 European Cups between the quartet.
But Haaland is the calibre of player who can fire an out-of-sorts Dortmund to European glory – and tonight, and next week’s second leg, is a massive chance to prove he’s ready to rival Mbappe for Messi and Ronaldo’s soon-to-be-vacant throne.
City have yet to get past this stage of the Champions League in four attempts under Pep Guardiola and while they are massive favourites to progress – Haaland is a potent enough threat to dump them out near single-handedly.
It’s already pretty obvious that Haaland is going to be one of the next generation’s leading talents, but in his attempts to emulate the record-breaking feats of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, tonight is his opportunity to rubber-stamp himself as a player truly at the next level.
City boss Guardiola, who managed Messi at Barcelona, has made it clear he’s a massive fan of the player, as the Citizens consider a summer swoop in the next transfer window.
“To score that number of goals at his age is not easy to find in the past, honestly. He’s 20 years old and the numbers speak for themselves,” the Catalan coach declared on Monday.
“He’s a fantastic striker, everyone knows it. A blind guy would realise he’s a good striker, it’s not necessary to be a manager to realise it.”
Dortmund want at least £127million (€150m) if they are to part ways with the Norwegian this summer, it is though. Manchester United and Chelsea are among City’s rivals for his signature, with Real Madrid and Barcelona also keen.
“I don’t know,” said Guardiola when quizzed about potentially signing the Scandinavian centre-forward. “I understand completely people ask the day before and this week of Haaland because of course he’s an exceptional striker.
“But you understand it’s not appropriate for me to talk about a player from another club.”
United, who once again find themselves sat at home watching the TV when it comes to the Champions League’s most enthralling final rounds, will be among those keeping a close eye on Haaland’s exploits against City, the former club of his father Alf-Inge.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows Haaland as well as anyone, having managed him at Molde a few years back, and the Norwegian coach would love his towering countryman to lead the line at Old Trafford from next season onwards.
Tonight, and in the second leg against City, Haaland can prove that he would be able not just to come to Manchester and score goals for fun but that he could help United to catch their noisy neighbours, who have collected major honours galore during the Red Devils’ post-Sir Alex Ferguson decline.
Since the Scot retired with United as champions in 2013, they haven’t got near City. Their best season since last winning the league was when they came second to their rivals under Jose Mourinho in 2017-18. They ended a league-record 19 points adrift.
United are currently 14 points behind City, albeit having played one match less, but have made progress this term. Next year though the onus will be on them to put together a sustained challenge for the top-flight crown. Solskjaer’s long-term future may even depend on it.
Having Haaland up top putting away chances created by Bruno Fernandes and co. would significantly improve their prospects of getting the better of City and what is expected to be a rejuvenated Liverpool, who have been wrecked by injuries this term.
Haaland won’t come to United on the cheap – at least this summer (he has a £64million release clause in his contract that becomes active in 2022). On top of the transfer fee, that will be at least £127m, his agent Mino Raiola and father Alf-Inge are said to want £17m (€20m) apiece for helping facilitating a move.
Then there’s the player’s contract, with it having been alleged that Raiola wants to get Haaland on a £600,000-a-week salary at his next club – which would see him bank £127.5m across a five-year contract.
Add the transfer fee, the wages and the fees paid to Raiola and Haaland Snr and you’re talking £289m. That’s before thinking about goal bonuses and trophy-winning payments. It is an eye-watering amount.
But against City, Haaland can make a case that he would be worth every penny. Fire Dortmund past the English champions elect, or at least make them work incredibly hard for a semi-final spot, and United will be doubly eager to sign him up. Whether they can pitch themselves as a better destination than City is another matter entirely.
Nineteen league games, 23 goals. No, not the goalscoring return of Erling Haaland, but that of his Red Bull Salzburg successor Patson Daka.
Since Norwegian superstar Haaland departed for Borussia Dortmund in January 2020, Daka has now scored 40 goals and supplied 14 assists in 51 matches for Austrian champions Salzburg.
He continued his phenomenal form with an 11-minute hat-trick against Sturm Graz at the Red Bull Arena on Sunday as Salzburg chase an eighth straight title.
Since returning from a hamstring injury in November, Daka has now plundered 17 goals in just 13 Austrian Bundesliga matches, scoring in all but two. They’re the only league games he’s not scored in all season.
The striker, compared to Samuel Eto’o and Sadio Mane by Zambia head coach Milutin Sredejovic, also netted four times for his country against Zimbabwe and Algeria over the international break.
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The 22-year-old is making his case to clubs across Europe’s bigger leagues that he is ready for tougher tests.
And the way so many other Salzburg players have taken the step-up – usually to sister club RB Leipzig – in their stride suggest he could be a very shrewd buy this summer.
Liverpool duo Mane and Naby Keita are among the previous African talents to have been schooled at Leipzig.
Zambian Daka has been linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs already including Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal.
United, City and Chelsea are all also in hot pursuit of Dortmund’s Haaland, who has been priced at £127.5million (€150m) ahead of the summer transfer window.
Given the system of the Red Bull clubs feeds from their ability to sell players on for profit, Daka is an easier asset to prise away than Haaland is at Dortmund.
Is he a generational talent at the level of Haaland? No. But very few are and as alternatives go, Daka is indicating he could be a very, very good one – particularly at his price tag.
Reports in Austria have indicated that he could be available for around £17m (€20m) – or in other words around £110m less than clubs can sign Haaland for. If he could maintain his conversion rate in Austria were he to move to England, that would be money very well spent.
Daka has previously admitted that he grew up a Liverpool fan, but with his father a Chelsea fan and his sister an Arsenal supporter, those ties are unlikely to stop him from landing elsewhere in the Premier League given the career step-up it would represent.
An energetic player who has excellent work-rate and willingly harries defenders, Daka has great pace and sharp movement, and obviously, high-level finishing ability. He can score capably off of either foot.
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Playing for Salzburg, Daka has proven himself an excellent centre-forward in a possession-heavy side but is also a fierce threat on the counter-attack.
Daka has sought to play down comparisons to former team-mate Haaland and said last summer: “I’m not the next anything. There’ll only be one Haaland and there’ll only be one Patson. I just want to become the best vision of myself.”
There are qualities though that Daka offers that Haaland does not so much, particularly off the ball in how much he presses and tackles his opponents.
But as low-cost Plan Bs go, Daka could be ideal, either for Chelsea or for United.
With at least one of the two set to be disappointed in the pursuit of Haaland, and possibly even both, perhaps they should be looking at Salzburg where the ‘next Haaland’ is waiting to be signed.