Chelsea plot move for surprise striker as Erling Haaland reality hits home

Sasa Kalajdzic, Stuttgart striker

Chelsea are reportedly set to turn their attentions towards the signing of Stuttgart’s beanpole striker Sasa Kalajdzic after seeing their hopes of landing Erling Haaland fade sharply.

Haaland has attracted strong transfer attention from the European champions this summer. Reports claim that Blues owner Roman Abramovich has made it his ‘personal mission’ to sign the 20-year-old and is willing to pay up to £150m.

Chelsea have also reportedly tried to sweeten the deal for Borussia Dortmund by including one unwanted star as part of any deal.

However, after sanctioning the sale of Jadon Sancho, Dortmund are refusing to part with Haaland too. That’s despite his exit clause of £64m kicking in next summer.

Haaland himself also accepts he will stay this season at the Westfalenstadion. As such, The Athletic claims Chelsea will only pursue his transfer this summer if the Norwegian himself pushes for it.

Indeed, with Thomas Tuchel looking to bolster his attack, the Blues are already drawing up plans for alternatives.

And over the weekend they were linked with a move for Bayern Munich hotshot Robert Lewandowski.

However, The Athletic claims a more realistic target for the Blues is Stuttgart’s Kalajdzic. Standing at 6ft 7in tall, he is the tallest player in the Bundesliga.

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The Austrian scored 17 goals last season in the Bundesliga from just 36 outings.

However, it was his performances at Euro 2020 that are said to have caught Tuchel’s eye. He was on the scoresheet as Austria were just edged out by eventual winners Italy at Wembley.

And Tuchel is said to believe the 24-year-old has the qualities required to be a hit in the Premier League.

Kalajdzic was linked with a move to Tottenham earlier this year, with his fee at the time reported to be around €20m. That price is surely likely to have gone up on the back of his impressive displays.

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Haaland happy to stay at Dortmund

Whoever they end up signing, it’s looking increasingly unlikely that Haaland will not be a Chelsea player this summer.

Haaland has said that he has no problems continuing to develop at his current employers and he added to Stadium Astro that he is looking forward to working with new boss Marco Rose.

“I talked a little bit with him and I know him from before because I had him for six months at Salzburg,” the striker said of his new manager.

“He’s a nice guy and I look forward to working with him.

“I heard the training sessions are hard here so it’s exactly the same as it was at Salzburg. Hard training and a lot of running.

“That’s what I expect the tactics to be, to press a lot and run a lot and attack a lot.”

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