Erling Haaland is a player of such quality that every elite European club should seriously be considering submitting a bid to Borussia Dortmund this summer.
Yet of all the potential destinations, one stands out as ticking all the boxes: Chelsea.
The Blues finished the season in style, out-thinking and out-playing Manchester City in Porto to win the Champions League last month. Thomas Tuchel’s side are in a good place right now.
It may seem strange, when commenting on a team which spent north of £200million on players less than 12 month ago, but Tuchel’s side are short of a goalscorer.
Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy have all contributed to Chelsea since arriving last year, but none of them have provided the goods in front of goal.
Havertz registered nine goals last season. Werner got 12 in all competitions, but just six in 35 Premier League appearances.
Holding midfielder Jorginho finished the 2020/21 season as Chelsea’s top scorer in the Premier League with seven goals, all of which were penalties.
Chelsea scored 58 goals in the league – the fewest of the top seven sides and less than newly-promoted Leeds United, who managed 62.
To challenge for the Premier League title in 2021/22 – which appears to be the ultimate goal after their Champions League triumph – Tuchel needs a goal scorer to lead the line.
Enter Haaland, who scored 41 goals in as many games for Dortmund last season, is quick, strong and tall, capable of playing a variety of systems, has an almost intimidating will to win and is still only 20 years old.
Dortmund don’t want to sell and have slapped what is presumably meant to be a prohibitive £150m price tag on their star player.
But if anyone can do a deal, surely it’s Chelsea, who have the deep pockets of owner Roman Abramovich and the negotiating nous of director Marina Granovskaia in their favour.
Haaland reportedly has a release clause in his contract, which would allow him to depart Dortmund for around £68m next summer.
That is obviously an alluring prospect, but one Chelsea should not entertain. They cannot afford to hold fire just to save money, especially when the competition for his signature will be even more fierce in a years’ time.
If they move this summer to sign the most sought after young player in the world it would send out an almighty statement to their rivals.
Man City need a replacement for Sergio Aguero and have the funds to compete. If the Premier League champions have to settle for their second choice, then that could prove to be a significant psychological blow.
Chelsea may have been encouraged by Haaland’s recent interview with The Telegraph, in which he spoke about his biggest career goal.
“I have been thinking about the Champions League my whole life, wanting to play there,” Haaland said.
“So maybe it gives me one percent extra motivation when I go out on the pitch with the anthem.
“That’s my big dream: to win the Champions League one day. Hopefully I can lift that trophy and that really would be, well, amazing.”
Having just lifted that very trophy, Chelsea have a strong incentive to attract Haaland’s attention. Crucially, they also have the financial means to satisfy him.
Yes, they may have to alter their wage structure to accommodate him, but on current form Mino Raiola knows his client is worth the £300,000 per week he is reportedly seeking.
Abramovich has never been reluctant to get his chequebook out when his money is required. Thanks to him, Chelsea have already assembled a fantastic squad with two quality players for every position who are coached by a progressive and obsessive manager.
Arguably, all that is missing is a world-class centre-forward.
Haaland could be the final piece of the jigsaw required for Tuchel to usher in an era of Chelsea dominance and yet more major honours under Abramovich’s rule.