Chelsea given huge boost in Erling Haaland transfer hunt by Pep Guardiola’s Man City claim

Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League

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Chelsea are at the front of the queue to sign Erling Haaland this summer after Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola revealed that the striker is too expensive for them. City had been the major rivals for Haaland’s signature, but the Blues are now the standalone favourites to go after the Borussia Dortmund goal machine.

Chelsea may have won the Champions League last season, but Tuchel was disappointed with the shape of his attack.

The big 2020 signing Timo Werner failed to hit the ground running and looked far more comfortable in a withdrawn role behind a striker than as the lead forward in Tuchel’s preferred 3-4-2-1 formation.

And Tuchel has made no secret of his desire to strengthen the squad this summer.

“Two or three [signings] could be very, very good. It’s a constant thing to never deny change,” the German revealed recently. “That always brings new energy.

“We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover… But we have some ideas, of course, to make the group stronger.”

Haaland, who scored 27 goals in 28 games in the Bundesliga last season, has been heavily linked with a transfer this summer and would be a perfect fit for that Chelsea No 9 role.

And Tuchel’s chances of landing the Norwegian have significantly increased as Guardiola has said that City “cannot afford” the player.

“At the prices (quoted) we are not going to buy any strikers. It is impossible, we cannot afford it,” Guardiola told Catalan network TV3.

“All clubs are struggling financially, we are not an exception. We have Gabriel (Jesus) and Ferran (Torres) who have been incredible in this position.

“We have young players in the academy and we play many times with a false nine. There is more of a chance we aren’t going to buy a striker for next season.”

Chelsea, as reigning European champions, would be the perfect fit for Haaland too, who recently revealed that he wakes up to an alarm clock of the Champions League anthem.

“I have been thinking about the Champions League my whole life, wanting to play there,” the Dortmund striker said.

“It gives me one per cent extra motivation when I go out on the pitch with the anthem.

“That’s my big dream: to win the Champions League one day. Hopefully I can lift that trophy and that really would be, well, amazing.”

Chelsea start next season with a home game against Crystal Palace on the weekend of August 14 before a tough opening run of matches.

Tuchel’s side face two more London derbies early in the campaign, Arsenal away on the second weekend and Spurs away in mid-September, with fixtures against Liverpool and Man City also coming in the opening six rounds of the season.

Clubs can still do business beyond the start of the season this year, with the window shutting at midnight on August 31.
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