You may have heard that Chelsea would quite like to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer. If you haven’t, then let me be the first to welcome you to the internet. It’s a wonderous – if not at times unforgiving – place.
But back to Haaland. The Norwegian is one of the most in-demand players in world football. Since joining Dortmund in January 2020, he has scored 57 goals in 59 appearances for the club. He is a phenom.
It’s why Chelsea and a host of European football’s other elite clubs are all interested in signing the 20-year-old. There are several stumbling blocks to overcome, however.
The first is the fee required to prise him away from Dortmund. football.london understands the Bundesliga side are holding out for a package in excess of £150million for Haaland this summer.
In a transfer market still impacted dramatically by the Covid-19 pandemic, very few clubs can come close to matching BVB’s demands. Chelsea, though, are one of the few.
The Blues have the resources needed – thanks in part to Roman Abramovich – to fund such a lavish transfer. They also have the added cache of being champions of Europe after overcoming Manchester City in the Champions League final in Porto last month.
Haaland, according to The Telegraph, is open to a move to Stamford Bridge if Chelsea can come to an agreement with Dortmund. That is another obstacle ticked off the list in terms of getting a transfer done.
The sticking point could prove to be the salary required to sign the forward. While no exact figure has yet been revealed, it’s understood a contract that would make Haaland the Blues’ top earner – and potentially by some distance – is required to secure his signature.
That could prove a problem for Chelsea. Not because the Blues couldn’t finance such a deal for the Norway international; elite-level football clubs tend to find the money they need in such circumstances. It’s more the knock-on effect on the rest of the squad.
When Manchester United brought in Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal in January 2018, the Reds decided, rather incredibly, to pay him a reported £560,000 a week.
It ripped apart the club’s wage structure and eventually led to the departure of Ander Herrera on a free transfer and United being forced into offering David de Gea a huge deal to stop him from doing the same.
Man City had also been interested in the Chilean star before learning of his wage demands. “We try to be stable with the wages of the players because I think it is good for the team and stability of the club, the stability of the club is the most important thing,” Pep Guardiola admitted at the time and was subsequently proved right.
It’s certainly something for Chelsea to keep in mind when it comes to a move for Haaland. If he is to be handed a significantly bigger contract than those who only last month delivered the club’s second Champions League trophy, there is a possibility resentment could then grow and then fester among the group.
Haaland’s contract would also be the yardstick on which future deals are based. What’s to stop, for instance, Antonio Rudiger bumping up his demands as he negotiates a new contract? Or Jorginho, another key cog in Tuchel’s side, doing the same in the months ahead?
The financial impact of Haaland’s potential arrival is not a deal-breaker by any means. And it’s almost certainly something Chelsea will be fully aware of. But as Guardiola warned when it came to Sanchez, the stability of the club should never be compromised, no matter how talented a player may be.