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.
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.
“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.”