Real Madrid Transfers: Trouble brewing in Erling Haaland pursuit?

Erling Haaland (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Erling Haaland (Photo by Mario Hommes/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /
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There are two players who are clearly at the top of the transfer wishlist for Real Madrid in the 2021 summer market: Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland. Signing either player this year would be game-changing for Los Blancos, as Mbappe or Haaland would single-handedly transform one of the worst attacks among Europe’s elite clubs.

Mbappe may be preferred due to his experience and ability to play on the wings, but Haaland is younger and just as deadly in front of goal. He is also easier to acquire, as he would cost less and plays for a club that is more likely to sell in Borussia Dortmund.

But although Haaland is easier to sign for those reasons, that doesn’t necessarily mean he is easier for Real Madrid to sign. Because the same reasons that make him easier to sign than Mbappe are the same reasons that make him easier for another big club to sign.

That club could be Manchester City. It could be Juventus. Or it could be Chelsea. And in the case of City and Chelsea, these Premier League giants are not as affected by the pandemic and the economic crisis as the others.

Chelsea will be competition for Real Madrid in the battle to sign Erling Haaland

According to a report from BILD’s Sven Westerschulze and Jörg Weiler (article in German, behind paywall), new Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has been given the “green light” to go after Erling Haaland in the summer 2021 transfer window. Roman Abramovich is ready to support his new, big-name coach with a new, big-name player.

The former Dortmund manager was most recently PSG’s coach, where he guided Neymar and Mbappe to the Champions League Final. Chelsea made some major signings last summer in Hakim Ziyech, Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Timo Werner, and one-time Madrid target Kai Havertz, but they don’t sound like they are done yet.

Haaland would be a world-class No. 9 for Chelsea and a true superstar on a team that has stars but nobody who truly transcends the game.

Chelsea have the pocketbooks to be wary of, and their interest in Haaland should worry Real Madrid fans. Los Blancos can make enough sales to afford Mbappe or Haaland, but if they can’t quite make enough to afford Mbappe, what if they lose in a bidding war to Chelsea? It’s plausible, given, again, that the Blues are not hit as hard by the pandemic as the Royal Whites.

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Haaland is no guarantee, even if many Madridistas see him as the backup plan to Mbappe, in case the latter is too expensive. The Dortmund striker won’t be cheap either, and suitors like Chelsea will make sure of that.