Almost every big European club — including Chelsea as well as both Manchesters — want to sign Erling Braut Haaland, and the floodgates could be ready to burst given Borussia Dortmund’s financial concerns and constraints. Chelsea will certainly face strong competition for the dominant striker’s signature, but there’s some reason for optimism thanks to our financial power and the potential draw of Thomas Tuchel.
However, according to the Independent, Haaland himself might be reluctant to come to the Premier League at this point in his career, due to the “physical demands” of the league. While the 20-year-old is definitely planning to play in England at some point, he feels that the rigorous schedule causes players to burn out quicker. The report cites the examples of Michael Owen, Fernando Torres and Wayne Rooney, who were similarly affected to varying degrees by getting an early start in the league, as well as Erling’s own older brother, Astor, who was compelled to quit the game early due to injuries.
The report paints Haaland and his family, especially father and former Premier League footballer, Alf-Inge, as strategic long-term planners, and Erling’s career path, which has seen a natural progression from Bryne to Molde to RB Salzburg to now Borussia Dortmund, certainly supports that. And apparently the next step is more likely to be Spain (i.e. Real Madrid) rather than England, which is a bit unconventional but perhaps indicative of the shifting power and money structures in world football.
Despite their financial problems, Real apparently do have a plan to cough up the £100m or so probably needed to sign Haaland at this point. From Chelsea’s perspective, while we would have the funds available, it might just take a little extra something in order to convince him to come to Stamford Bridge.