Chelsea have their sights set on Norwegian hitman Erling Haaland and are willing to break their transfer record to sign the prolific 20-year-old this summer, according to reports.
The Borussia Dortmund forward has 19 goals in just 17 appearances for his club this campaign, continuing the sensational form which saw him burst onto the scene in the 2019-20 season.
Chelsea are targeting a top striker as an addition to their ranks this summer, and are willing to go beyond the record fee of around £80 million they could end up paying for playmaker Kai Havertz, The Athletic reports.
Haaland is under contract at the German giants until 2024 but is understood to have a release clause of £66 million which comes into play at the end of the 2021-22 season.
At that price, Chelsea will be fully aware that Haaland – who hit an astonishing 44 goals in 40 games last season – will be the primary target for a number of big European rivals.
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia is seen as being among the most shrewd transfer operators in the game, and the Blues could look to put in an offer considerably above Haaland’s release clause to lure Dortmund into cashing in this coming summer instead of waiting another year.
After a one-year ban on signing players due to breaches of regulations, Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich made up for lost time in the last transfer window, sanctioning a spree in excess of £200 million to bring in five players.
That included young German star Havertz and countryman Timo Werner.
Striker Werner has particularly struggled to find the net as he adapts to life in England, scoring nine times in 26 appearances for the Blues but currently enduring a 10-match drought in the Premier League.
Other center forward options at manager Frank Lampard’s disposal include highly-rated 23-year-old England international Tammy Abraham and veteran French World Cup winner Olivier Giroud, who is 34.
Chelsea’s attacking woes were highlighted in their labored 1-0 win against Fulham at the weekend, when it took a late goal from midfielder Mason Mount to break the deadlock, despite Fulham being down to 10 men for the entire second half.
Lampard is under increasing pressure to turn things around at Stamford Bridge after a slump over the festive period which saw his team drop to as low as ninth in the table.
Now in seventh, Chelsea face a crunch game away at third-place Leicester City on Tuesday.