The future of Dortmund hotshot Erling Haaland has become clear after talks with his agent were cited amid a resolution to the Chelsea transfer rumours.
The Norwegian sensation is already one of world football’s most lethal strikers. Over the past two seasons the 21-year-old has operated at exactly one goal per game. That ratio is greater than the striker many believe will vie for the game’s top individual honours alongside Haaland over the next decade – Kylian Mbappe.
Widespread reports have revealed Haaland can leave in a cut-price €75m deal per his release clause next summer.
Chelsea were one club who had been tipped to get ahead of the game. However, a deal in the current window was laced with difficulties.
Firstly, Dortmund are doubly determined to retain Haaland after already losing Jadon Sancho from their forward line. Additionally, prising Haaland away this summer would likely require a fee significantly higher than next year’s release clause amount.
Nevertheless, it was speculated Roman Abramovich would sanction a mega deal 12 months early to avoid having to compete with the likes of Real Madrid and Man Utd next year.
However, recent reports have poured cold water on the potential move including Haaland himself joking about the saga. And now Dortmund’s head of first-team football, Sebastian Kehl, has hammered another nail in the coffin.
Speaking to German newspaper Bild (via the Express), Kehl cited discussions with Haaland’s agent – Mino Raiola – when suggesting an exit is out of the question.
“Will Haaland stay this summer? Yes,” said Kehl.
“In the discussions with Raiola for [Donyell] Malen, I did not have the feeling we have to meet again about Haaland.
“We don’t want to give him up.”
With Kehl’s words in mind, it appears Chelsea will have to beat out stiff competition next summer if they are to ultimately bring Haaland to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea get serious in Kounde pursuit
Meanwhile, Chelsea are ramping up their pursuit of Jules Kounde after a trusted source revealed the details of what they’re offering.
The 22-year-old Frenchman has excelled in La Liga since leaving Bordeaux in 2019. A fee north of £50m was touted as being required to twist Sevilla’s arm, and the latest report revealed Chelsea were prepared to get creative to meet that valuation.
Per trusted journalist Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are prepared to sweeten the deal by offering Kurt Zouma as a makeweight. Now, the Italian has shed further light on the situation after confirming the two clubs are in negotiations.
He tweeted that talks are ‘progressing’ over the cash-plus-player deal involving Zouma. Furthermore, Chelsea are now ‘offering around €30/35m’ plus Zouma in their efforts to land Kounde.
Sevilla were previously reported to ‘appreciate’ Zouma’s inclusion given he is a readymade replacement. Romano insisted agreeing personal terms will ‘not be a problem’ with Kounde open to the move.
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