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BVB increase Erling Haaland asking price; Chelsea to turn to Romelu Lukaku?

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Ah well...

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The potential path to signing Erling Braut Haaland was always going to be fraught with a dangerous amount of speculation and extreme difficulty, if not insurmountable obstacles — and one of those could be his transfer fee, especially as Borussia Dortmund have seemingly increased their asking price even more, up from €150m to €180m. Not that it really matters, as according to ESPN, they would rather lose him for €75m-€100m next summer than for any price this summer.

Some had been hoping that Dortmund’s potentially precarious financial situation would create an opportunity to prise away the 20-year-old, but that doesn’t look to be the case anymore. They appear to be quite optimistic in their ability to hold on to Haaland just as they had held on to Jadon Sancho last summer. Dortmund’s asking price is basically a hands-off warning to all, including Chelsea.

Despite the growing pessimism over completing a deal for Haaland, Chelsea’s plans for signing a new centre forward in the summer remain intact. The obvious first alternative target would be Romelu Lukaku, formerly of Chelsea, and currently plying his trade for Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan, with Matt Law of the Telegraph echoing that view.

Lukaku has been in terrific form since moving to Italy two seasons ago, and has scored 59 goals and provided 13 assists in 85 games for the Nerazzurri thus far. Stylistically and in terms of ability, he may be the closest alternative to Haaland whom we could realistically sign, with the likes of Alexander Isak, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Raul Jimenez, Wout Weghorst, Duvan Zapata, etc. all a tier or two below.

Haaland vs Lukaku (2020-21; League appearances)
Understat

Lukaku’s contract runs through 2024, and while Inter Milan are likely to put up a fight just as well, they may be heading towards some financial troubles of their own, which could make a Lukaku pursuit more feasible.

(In related rumors, Real Madrid and Barcelona have apparently also started looking at alternative targets in Harry Kane and Andre Silva, respectively.)