Premier League • England

Haaland transfer could spark double Chelsea blow with pair’s exits brought forward

Timo Werner during friendly between Chelsea and Tottenham in August 2021

A pair of Chelsea forwards could be targeted in the summer if the reports of Barcelona missing out on Erling Haaland are accurate.

Today’s Paper Talk brought news of where Haaland could be playing his football next season. Via the Daily Mail, it was revealed Manchester City have a ‘deal in place’ to snag the 21-year-old marksman this summer.

They claimed sources in Germany have told them that Haaland will choose a switch to the Etihad Stadium. Personal terms have already reportedly been discussed and City chiefs are ready to sign off on the deal.

And while his exit fee is set at a mere £63m, commissions for his agent, Mino Raiola, as well as a big signing-on fee, will take City’s outlay to the £100m mark.

Signing a player of Haaland’s calibre will come as a bitter blow to City’s chief title rivals including Liverpool and Chelsea.

However, the Sun (citing Mundo Deportivo) now report that particular move could have a second, added effect on the Blues. What’s more, it’s not a positive one.

Chelsea pair are Barcelona’s back-up plans

The newspaper state that if Barcelona miss out on signing Haaland, they’ll turn their attentions to Blues pair Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner.

While it’s fair to say neither player has produced their best form at Stamford Bridge, losing one of the duo would leave a void in Tuchel’s forward options.

Thomas Tuchel with his head in his hands

And with Chelsea unable to sign new players at present as a consequence of their off-field turmoil, the blow could be magnified.

Furthermore, if Chelsea’s financial predicament forces them into a fire-sale, they would be unlikely to generate market value for Werner or Lukaku.

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Lukaku ‘appalled’ by Italian media claims

Meanwhile, Romelu Lukaku is ‘angry’ and ‘appalled’ at claims in the Italian media he’ll accept a pay-cut to re-join Inter Milan, with the latest report revealing his true intentions.

Lukaku has lost his place to Kai Havertz in recent weeks. Given the German’s stellar displays of late, the shirt is now his to lose. Combined with Chelsea’s off-field turmoil, talk has begun to swirl of a quick return to Inter Milan for Lukaku.

Reports from the Italian press have even suggested Lukaku would accept a pay-cut to return to the San Siro. The striker raised eyebrows late last year when claiming he’d love to return to Inter “in the near future”.

However, a report from the Telegraph has debunked that line of thinking. In doing so, they revealed Lukaku’s full commitment to the beleaguered club.

Lukaku is described as ‘angry’ and ‘appalled’ at the Inter return narrative. What’s more, it’s stated Lukaku has ‘no intention of turning his back’ on the Blues.

He, along with the rest of Chelsea’s squad are reportedly in regular communication with the club’s current hierarchy. They have all been assured the club are doing all they can to stabilise the situation and ensure disruption is minimal.

Despite struggling on the pitch thus far, the article concludes Lukaku is ‘determined to be a success’ in his second stay at Stamford Bridge.

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