Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland will be Chelsea's top transfer target in next summer's transfer market, according to Sky Sport Italia sources.
The Norwegian forward – currently on the sidelines with a muscle complaint – has scored a staggering 33 goals in 32 games in all competitions for Dortmund since a €20million switch from Red Bull Salzburg in January and has established himself as Europe's most in-demand young striker.
Such red-hot form has piqued the interest of Europe's biggest clubs – from Real Madrid to Manchester City and Barcelona to Manchester United – and it now seems that Chelsea want a piece of the Haaland action, too.
The Sky Sport Italia journalist Angelo Mangiante has tweeted that the goal-hungry 20-year-old will be the West Londoners' No.1 transfer target next summer, with West Ham midfielder Declan Rice – who spent eight years in the Blues' youth teams as a youngster – also of interest to boss Frank Lampard.
With last summer's marquee signing Timo Werner struggling for form since his £47.5million switch from RB Leipzig, Lampard may return to Germany to persuade Haaland – the quintessential modern forward who combines impressive movement with a lethal eye for goal – to pick SW6 over Europe's biggest clubs.
"This positivity that he radiates, radiates on the team which is why I think that someday, Haaland will not be playing at Dortmund anymore and will make the next step," 150-time German international Lothar Matthaus recently told the Bundesliga website. "He is already ready and we are proud to have him in the Bundesliga."
Chelsea won't have it all their own way, however, in the race to secure the signature of Europe's hottest prospect. With Sergio Aguero's fitness issues persisting as he enters the final six months of his Manchester City deal and Gabriel Jesus' goal output failing to match his excellent work rate, Pep Guardiola may also be in the market for a new line-leading striker next summer.
It promises to be a busy summer at Stamford Bridge, with up to seven first-teamers available for transfer. Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Jorginho, Marcos Alonso, Danny Drinkwater and on-loan pair Ross Barkley and Victor Moses are all likely to depart in the summer 2021 window.
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