Chelsea in pole position to sign No.9 Bundesliga centre-forward

The London giants are growing increasingly confident of winning the battle to sign Europe’s most in-demand striker, Erling Haaland, from Borussia Dortmund this summer. Haaland burst onto the scene with RB Salzburg during last campaign’s UCL group stage and has since cemented his reputation as one of world football’s most prolific forwards after signing for Borussia Dortmund.

Manchester rivals City and United are attempting to position themselves to make moves this summer with Solskjaer, who coached Erling during the early stages of his career at Molde, still in touch with his compatriot.

The Red Devils are likely to be working with a modest transfer budget, however, and would struggle to match any package their local rivals could present to Norway international, even if they were to secure UCL qualification and boost their funds through footballer sales.

Even then, a new centre-back partner, ideally a left-sided one, represents Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priority, while a new central midfielder will be required should Paul Pogba be sold.

Real Madrid and Barcelona, meanwhile, are also likely to lack the financial wherewithal to recruit the Norwegian star this summer, while Bayern Munich are not an option at this stage with Robert Lewandowksi’s form showing no sign of deteriorating.

Reports from Germany earlier this week claimed Erling was less than receptive to the idea of joining Blues but the PL big-spenders believe they have several factors in their favour.

Having invested upwards of £200m last summer, Roman Abramovich is unlikely to curtail his spending, especially if, as looks increasingly likely, Thomas Tuchel secures UCL qualification.