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Chelsea forward must make ‘significant’ sacrifice as Dortmund identify perfect Haaland replacement

Borussia Dortmund have identified a Chelsea forward as being capable of replacing Erling Haaland, though a sacrifice must be made before a move can happen, per a report.

Haaland, 21, is already one of world football’s most fearsome forwards. He has notched 66 goals in 66 games since joining Dortmund from RB Salzburg in 2020. That level of attacking output, combined with his age have made the Norwegian a target for almost every elite club in Europe.

But while transfer speculation was only fleeting this summer, an avalanche of interest is expected to emerge in 2022.

That’s because Haaland reportedly holds a release clause within his contract that can be triggered around the £70m mark.

And per the Metro (citing German newspaper Bild), Dortmund are ‘increasingly resigned’ to losing the hitman next summer.

Losing their star players is not a new phenomenon to the German outfit. Indeed, Jadon Sancho was the latest burgeoning superstar to depart when Man Utd completed their year-long pursuit to the tune of £73m in July.

A suitable replacement is always found, and the Metro claim Chelsea striker Timo Werner has been earmarked – though old rivals Bayern Munich are also in the frame. The versatile forward has failed to live up to expectations since moving to Stamford Bridge for £47.5m.

He bagged just 12 goals last season amid a string of uncharacteristically wasteful displays. He did contribute in other ways, however, leading the team with 15 assists across all competitions.

But with Romelu Lukaku’s blockbuster return, Werner has been marginalised thus far this season.

As such, Dortmund seemingly sense an opening and have installed Werner ‘near the top of their list’ to succeed Haaland.

However, if an approach is made, Werner will be required to make a significant sacrifice. It’s claimed his ‘£17m-a-year-salary’ would likely be slashed dramatically in order to make the finances work for Dortmund.

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Chelsea missed transfer trick

Meanwhile, Chelsea could be left to rue a summer transfer decision amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Antonio Rudiger after a glaring omission was revealed.

The German has attracted attention from European clubs far and wide, and the latest report revealed Blues chief Marina Granovskaia plans to offload the centre-half in January if he refuses to pen fresh terms – much to Tuchel’s dismay.

If Rudiger leaves in January or departs via free agency next year, a new name will have to be bought. Sevilla’s Jules Kounde could be revisited, though Chelsea seemingly already had a long-term answer on the books until this summer.

Fikayo Tomori was sold to AC Milan for £25m in June. The Englishman excelled on a short loan stint at the San Siro last season. That resulted in a determined transfer pursuit this summer.

When selling young stars with big futures, clubs often opt to include a buy-back clause or option for first refusal. However, according to trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea did no such thing regarding Tomori.

Romano tweeted ‘unlike what they did for Tammy Abraham deal’, Chelsea have ‘not included’ a buy-back clause for Tomori.

READ MORE: Conte insists Chelsea missing top summer target a blessing in disguise

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