Chelsea ‘held talk with Erling Haaland’ as the Blues close on first summer transfer deal

Chelsea have been in contact with Erling Haaland’s representatives over the possibility of a summer move to Stamford Bridge, according to reports.

The 20-year-old has established himself as one of the most prolific strikers in Europe since joining Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg in January of last year.

Haaland has scored 57 goals from 59 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund, earning links to a number of the world’s biggest clubs as a result of his formidable attacking prowess.

Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and both Manchester clubs have all been mentioned in connection with the Norway international’s signature in recent months.

The Blues are in need of a top-class striker ahead of next season, with Thomas Tuchel’s current options somewhat limited at the top of the pitch.

Olivier Giroud signed a contract extension earlier this month but looks to be approaching the end of his career at 34 years of age, while Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner have failed to live up to expectations since the turn of the year.

Kai Havertz has been forced to adapt to the No 9 role in recent outings, with Chelsea able to reap the benefits of landing an out-and-out striker ahead of the new campaign.

Haaland is believed to be near the top of Tuchel’s transfer shortlist alongside Tottenham’s wantaway striker Harry Kane.

However, given Daniel Levy’s reluctance to sell his prized asset to the Stamford Bridge club, it seems as though their focus has switched to pursuing a move for Dortmund’s attacking talisman.

Chelsea have already held talks with Haaland’s camp in order to establish the likelihood of a summer switch, according to transfer expert Kristof Terreur.

It is claimed that Dortmund have asked for a fee of £154million in order to part ways with their star man, a request that Blues owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly prepared to oblige.

Haaland is under contract until 2024 but is believed to have a cut-price release clause written into his deal, which is set to come into effect at the end of next season.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will go in for his services this summer or hold out for another year in the hope of landing the forward on the cheap.

If the newly-crowned European champions decide to act on their interest in Haaland at any point, they will be forced to deal with Mino Raiola, the player’s notoriously difficult agent who is likely to demand a sizeable chunk for himself in order to allow the move to go ahead.

The club were previously frustrated by the 53-year-old’s interference back in 2017 when Romelu Lukaku opted to join Manchester United over making a return to Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, former England forward Stan Collymore recently claimed that Chelsea’s latest Champions League triumph will see them enjoy a stronger transfer window than their Premier League rivals, which could bode well for their pursuit of Haaland.

“The beauty of the result for Chelsea is that, as well as the glory of the night, they are now in pole position when it comes to summer recruitment,” said Collymore in his Daily Mirror column.

“Erling Haaland, Jack Grealish, Harry Kane… all of a sudden, you can tell them Chelsea are back and dangle the carrot of trophies.

“There was a time Chelsea could almost guarantee silverware to new recruits, and you just know they will be on the phone now offering that up and, in Grealish and Haaland’s case, the chance to live in London as well.”

Chelsea close on first summer transfer deal.

Chelsea youngster Pierre Ekwah Elimby is very close to leaving Stamford Bridge and sealing a move to London rivals West Ham United.

The 19-year-old, who operates as a defensive-minded midfield player, is close to joining the Hammers following a successful trial period with the club.

It is reported by Sky Sports that Ekwah, who had a trial with League One side Portsmouth earlier this year, will join the east London club for a fee of around £1.5million, with the Blues set to insert a significant sell-on clause in the deal ahead of his stock potentially rising in the future.

The youngster, despite being on the brink of sealing an exit from Stamford Bridge, has featured for the club’s under-23 side in Premier League 2 this season, racking up seven appearances.

As well as making seven appearances for the under-23s he also chipped in with one goal.