The news (well, rumor) of Chelsea’s serious interest in Erling Braut Haaland was broken by The Athletic back in January, laying out in broad terms the Blues’ approach this summer — namely that we want to get a jump on other big teams in Europe by (over-)paying for the 20-year-old this summer rather than waiting for the sweepstakes of next summer when his €75m release clause kicks in.
Unfortunately, with Borussia Dortmund salvaging their season to qualify for the Champions League and having now already made their one big transfer of the summer with Jadon Sancho’s move to Manchester United, they are unwilling to let Haaland go, and Haaland himself doesn’t appear to be pushing to leave either.
That of course hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from conjuring up potential bids of £150m, but just as those stories didn’t pass our BS detector, they were news to the Chelsea hierarchy as well. That’s the main takeaway from The Athletic’s latest survey of our striker situation, which adds that Chelsea are “coming to terms with the reality that Dortmund don’t want to sell in 2021”.
Given the general lack of decent rumors, it’s not at all clear what our other options may be. Neither Romelu Lukaku nor Harry Kane are going anywhere, which would leave us either with a stopgap solution (the article proposes Danny Ings, for example), an internal solution (Tammy Abraham’s only led the team in scoring for the last two seasons after all), or a non-solution (i.e. status quo and hope that Werner and Havertz can handle things).
But one thing seems abundantly clear by now, Erling Haaland isn’t coming — not that this is the last time we hear his name before the transfer window shuts on August 31.