John Arne Riise reckons Chelsea and Manchester City will firmly contest for the signing of Erling Haaland, ruling out Liverpool from the race to sign the Norwegian.
Erling Haaland was heavily chased in the summer transfer window, and Chelsea reportedly led the race to sign him. Roman Abramovich personally took keen interest and held talks with Borussia Dortmund officials, discussing a premium transfer fee.
Chelsea wanted to steal a march on other prospective suitors by paying a higher price last summer rather than joining a queue of clubs who might be able to afford his reasonable release clause, which activates at the end of the season. While a fee might have been agreeable, the demands of agent Mino Raiola might have prompted Chelsea to pull out of negotiations.
The Blues might be back for Haaland next summer, despite signing Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan in the summer in a deal that cost them nearly £100 million. While the Belgian is yet to kickstart his second spell at the club, Chelsea are reportedly looking to sign Haaland and have Manchester City for company in the chase.
Signing Haaland will certainly be a costly affair. While the transfer fee via a release clause might look affordable, the Norwegian’s massive salary demands certainly narrows down the choices to probably Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid in current market conditions.
Pep Guardiola was desperate to bring a striker in the summer but failed to sign Harry Kane after a long-drawn pursuit. Haaland is considered an alternative to the England captain next summer.
John Arne Riise certainly believes Chelsea and Manchester City will be in the race for the Dortmund goal machine when the summer window opens up. Speaking to talkSPORT, as quoted by Tribal Football, the former Liverpool defender has predicted a tight race between Manchester City and Chelsea while ruling out Liverpool owing to Haaland’s possible high salary.
Riise said, “In the Premier League, I can only see maybe Manchester City and Chelsea being able to afford him. But then again, is the salary that important to him? He’s going to earn a lot anyway. The only chance I can see him at Liverpool is if the salary (demand) goes down. When it comes to his agent and the numbers I’m reading now, I can only see City or Chelsea in the Premier League.”
Real Madrid reportedly view Haaland as a priority target while it has also been reported that Barcelona are leading the race to sign him. With the competition for his signature being so intense, it will be interesting to see where the Borussia Dortmund goal machine ends up next summer if he leaves the Bundesliga giants.