Premier League • England

Abramovich backed to smash Chelsea wage structure with monstrous Haaland offer

Dortmund's Erling Haaland celebrates the victory over Union Berlin in the Bundesliga

Chelsea have re-emerged as a contender to land Erling Haaland in the summer after the Romelu Lukaku debacle, and owner Roman Abramovich has been backed to make an eye-watering offer.

The Norwegian hitman is already one of world football’s most potent forwards. His goals record reads virtually a goal-per-game since arriving in Dortmund. Predictably, Europe’s leading lights have all taken note.

Clubs ranging from Manchester City and Liverpool to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have all been linked.

The presence of an extremely generous £68m release clause within Haaland’s contract has bolstered the number of clubs that can realistically stake a claim next summer.

However, one club that were believed to have removed themselves from the running was Chelsea. The £97.5m arrival of Lukaku last year ensured Haaland was no longer necessary at Stamford Bridge.

But according to Sport Witness (citing German newspaper Bild), Lukaku’s well-documented troubles this week could see Chelsea’s situation regarding Haaland change ‘abruptly’.

Abramovich could ‘open the money box’ for Haaland

Lukaku has since publicly apologised for bringing the club into disrepute. However, the article states Chelsea are now back among the chasers for Haaland’s signature.

The Blues are more than capable of matching Haaland’s modest release clause. What will also work in their favour is their ability to meet the high-end demands of Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola.

Haaland and Mbappe want Madrid

Both young stars are interested in a move to The Bernabeu.

Raiola will demand a top tier salary for Haaland, and the report states Abramovich could ‘open the money box’ to get the deal done. In more detailed terms, that could consist of a ‘conceivable’ offer of ‘over €30m’ per year. That would roughly equate to weekly wages of £480,000.

The obvious hurdle standing in Chelsea’s way is the rival suitors, chief of which is Real Madrid. But the report states Real are more concerned with signing Kylian Mbappe and wish to delay a Haaland arrival by a year. That’s despite Real reportedly being Haaland’s preferred destination.

Nevertheless, if Real delay, the door to a Chelsea swoop could be opened. And Abramovich has the financial means to get a deal over the line if the Lukaku relationship does not recover.

Tottenham boss Antonio Conte in strong position to sign star AC Milan duo

Chelsea learn cost of critical Everton deal

Meanwhile, Everton left-back Lucas Digne is in high demand, and Chelsea have been told what it’ll take to seal a deal that has now assumed greater importance.

The Frenchman, 28, remains on the fringes of the Everton squad following a fall-out with Rafael Benitez. Digne was again overlooked for selection against Brighton last weekend. Right-back Seamus Coleman deputised on the left side, and Benitez’s post-match comments spoke volumes.

Via Sky Sports, the Toffees boss said: “The most important thing for me is having players on the pitch who want to be there.”

After signing full-back pair Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson, Everton now appear well-placed to sever ties with Digne.

Per Sky Sports, Napoli and four Premier League clubs including Chelsea are all chasing Digne’s signature. The outlet state £30m will be enough to twist Everton’s arm into a permanent sale.

The Blues are in desperate need of reinforcements at wing-back following injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell. Chelsea had hoped Chilwell could rehab his ACL injury without the need for surgery. However, those hopes were dashed when 25-year-old finally went under the knife last week.

Another option open to Tuchel is recalling Emerson Palmieri from his loan stint at Lyon. Fellow Digne-chasers Newcastle and West Ham will be hoping Chelsea take that route.

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