Erling Haaland has been linked with a summer move to Chelsea as Thomas Tuchel looks to bolster his first-team squad with the signing of a prolific centre-forward.
Erling Haaland has played on English soil twice in his career and Chelsea are keen to make it a regular occurence.
As a Red Bull Salzburg player, the striker featured against Liverpool in the group phase of the Champions League during the 2019/20 season and was in the Borussia Dortmund side beaten 2-1 by Manchester City in the quarter-final first-leg at the Etihad Stadium last term.
With Chelsea and both Manchester clubs linked with a move for Haaland, there were a lot of eyes on the Norway international back in April.
It remains to be seen which club manages to capture Haaland’s signature either this summer or next, but it would appear Champions League football must be on the table.
Prior to kick-off at the Etihad Stadium, the Norway international was spotted singing along to the famous Champions League anthem.
That simply outlined his love for the competition and was possibly a transfer message to his potential suitors as well as his current club.
At the time, winning the trophy was Dortmund’s best chance of playing in the tournament next season as they were seven points off the top-four in the Bundesliga table.
Meanwhile, Chelsea were also far from guaranteed playing among Europe’s elite in 2021/22 following a 5-2 loss at home to West Brom that saw them drop out of the top-four in the Premier League.
However, fast forward a few months and Dortmund finished third and the Blues overcame a nervy final day of the season to finish fourth ahead of Leicester City despite losing to Aston Villa.
So simply put, based on Haaland’s actions before facing Man City, it seemed that the Blues had to make sure they qualified for the Champions League if they’re serious about signing the 20-year-old.
A demand that has already been met.
Although, it may take a bid of at least £138m for Dortmund to even consider their selling star striker as the financial pressures on the Bundesliga outfit have been eased after agreeing a £73m deal with Manchester United for the sale of Jadon Sancho.
With that said, a 12-month wait for a transfer could actually end up being beneficial for the Blues – as long as they qualify for the Champions League in 2022/23 – as Haaland’s release clause will be set at £68m next summer.
Furthermore, Thomas Tuchel did steer the club to victory in the final over Manchester City so they will enter the competition in 2021/22 as the defending champions.