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Chelsea 'make Erling Braut Haaland top transfer target'

The Blues could still bid to sign Borussia Dortmund's prodigious Norway striker this summer.

Chelsea remain undeterred in their ambitious bid to sign Erling Haaland this summer despite claims the Borussia Dortmund striker is not interested in a move to Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have placed Haaland at the top of their transfer target list in preparation for another summer of heavy investment, the PA news agency understands.

Reports in Germany last week claimed Haaland would only consider a move to six clubs in Europe, with Chelsea not on that list.

Southampton v Chelsea – Premier League – St Mary's Stadium
Thomas Tuchel, pictured, has overseen a quick transformation in Chelsea's fortunes (Michael Steele/PA)

Blues bosses are understood to be unfazed however, and will press on with their long-term plan to try to lure one of the world's top talents to Stamford Bridge this summer.

Haaland has a clause in his Dortmund contract that would force the German outfit to accept a fee of £66million in 2022.

The financial implications of coronavirus have left Dortmund seriously considering cashing in on Haaland this summer then, when the 20-year-old would command a fee comfortably in excess of £100million.

Chelsea are certainly in the market for both a new frontline number nine and also a talismanic attacking performer to fill the void left by Eden Hazard's Real Madrid departure in 2019.

Hazard's transfer fee topped out at £150million, which the Blues were able to offset against last summer's £220million squad overhaul.

That financial balancing act will allow Chelsea to press forward for further high-profile recruits this summer.

Chelsea v Manchester United – Premier League – Stamford Bridge
Olivier Giroud, pictured, will turn 35 in September (Ian Walton/PA)

World Cup-winning France striker Olivier Giroud will turn 35 in September, and is out of contract at Chelsea this summer.

Tammy Abraham remains the Blues' top scorer this season but has been unable to win over new boss Thomas Tuchel so far.

England striker Abraham's current Chelsea deal runs until 2023, but the 23-year-old has held off on seeking longer terms given his fluid situation.

Chelsea host Everton at Stamford Bridge on Monday night, with the Blues looking to extend their unbeaten start to Tuchel's reign to 11 matches.

The Covid-19 pandemic has now seen fans shut out of football for an entire year, with Tuchel admitting he cannot wait to lead Chelsea in front of supporters.

"I can't wait for the fans to be back and it would be a pleasure if they feel the same energy I feel on the sideline," said Tuchel.

"I think we can really get the crowd going and I can't wait until everybody is there because this team has everything to entertain the supporters. Hopefully as soon as possible."

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Erling Braut Haaland warms up for Borussia Dortmund on February 17, 2021
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