Roman Abramovich is desperate to land Erling Haaland this summer. Borussia Dortmund want to keep him for another season and will seemingly accept nothing less than £150million.

If Chelsea can find the funds, they should absolutely avoid the battle in a year’s time. But if they can’t, here are five alternatives…

 

Robert Lewandowski
The Bayern Munich man remains arguably the best striker in world football, but for how much longer? Age is just a number etc etc. but it is also indisputably a measure of how long someone’s been alive and crucially, a pretty good indicator of how long a footballer has left in the game. Lewandowski will be 33 in August.

A short deal at a reasonable price would be an excellent bit of business for Chelsea. But Bayern say they want £50million and Lewandowski would presumably want at least three years at a new club considering his current deal with the German champions extends to the summer of 2023. It would be delightful to see him in the Premier League and there’s little doubt he would tear it up for a season or two, but for that price Chelsea will surely want longevity.

 

Sasa Kalajdzic
Stuttgart striker Kalajdzic certainly has the potential to be a more enduring presence in the Chelsea side. The 24-year-old scored 16 goals in 23 starts in the Bundesliga last term; he was the guy that scored that memorable near-post header against Italy at Euro 2020 – the first goal the Azzuri had conceded in 1,168 minutes…

In fact, his finishing looks pretty special in general…

It’s thought he could be available for around £34million, a significant mark-up on the £1.6million Stuttgart paid Austrian side Admira Wacker Modling for his services in 2019. Tottenham are also rumoured to be interested as they look for a replacement for Carlos Vinicius. But that would be a bidding war of machine guns vs slingshots – if Chelsea want him, they’ll get him.

 

Romelu Lukaku
In June, Lukaku said: “I am happy at Inter.” Weeks before that, following Antonio Conte’s departure, he said: “Yes, I am staying.” But that hasn’t stopped the transfer rumours amid Haaland plan B speculation; The Sun claim Chelsea are in ‘hot talks’ with Inter over a move for their former player.

And it would be lovely to see Lukaku back at Stamford Bridge. Criticised frequently and often unfairly in his spell at Manchester United, he’s not put a foot wrong in Serie A and those feet seem to be far more ordered and of defter touch. The power and pace have always been extraordinary, but he appears to have added more finesse to his game which has catapulted him into the highest echelons of strikers in world football. Any club would be lucky to have him.

 

Antoine Griezmann
Barcelona will do anything to be rid of Antoine Griezmann. They reportedly wanted to swap him for Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez and with that falling through they now want to use him as bait to land Paulo Dybala from Juventus. They are also said to have offered him to any Premier League side with the means to sign him.

And with Chelsea the most free-spending of any English club, links were never going to be far away. Griezmann is valued at £54million, which does seem a bit much for a 30-year-old who has struggled for consistent form at the Nou Camp. But with the Catalans seemingly open to the idea of a swap deal, the Blues may be able to add a sweetener to lower the price. Tammy Abraham of Barcelona?

 

Kai Havertz
If Chelsea are to pursue Haaland when he is actually available next summer, perhaps it’s best not to sign a striker at all? Havertz started to look the part in the latter stages of last season and was most effective in the false nine position. None of Chelsea’s forward players – other than Mason Mount – were consistently great last term and with a proper pre-season under Thomas Tuchel, it would be reasonable to suggest the likes of Timo Werner, Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech will chip in with more goals to aid whoever plays up top.

Chelsea’s striker doesn’t necessarily have to score loads of goals and if Havertz manages 15 in the Premier League and the rest of those very talented forwards reach double figures – with the defence as solid as it has been under Tuchel – that could well be enough to tide them over.





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