Later News Jul 13

EPL transfer tattle: Chelsea set to miss out on Haaland, United close in on Varane


Chelsea’s search for a striker looks set to continue, with Borussia Dortmund reportedly determined to block the sale of Blues target Erling Haaland.

 

Thomas Tuchel is understandably eager to find a striker who can actually score to lead the line for his side next season – the alternative, after all, would be to rely on Timo Werner, whose shots are more likely to hit Richard Branson in his spacecraft rather than find the back of the net.

 

Regarded as one of Europe’s best young strikers, Haaland is on the shopping lists of some of the top teams in the world, with Manchester City and Real Madrid also thought to be in the running for the 20-year-old’s signature.

 

WATCH: Haaland's rise to superstardom

 

Dortmund, however, have no intention of selling their prized asset, nor are they in any pressing need to do so. Not when they are currently soaking in a diamond encrusted bathtub and fanning themselves with thousand-dollar bills from the £73m (S$136m) they recently received from Manchester United for the sale of Jadon Sancho.

 

A source with knowledge of Chelsea’s interest in Haaland told Sky Sports: “Chelsea are trying but it is going to be very difficult. At the moment it looks like mission impossible. It is unlikely but that doesn't mean it can't happen.”

 

Haaland, who scored 48 goals in 51 games for club and country last season, has a release clause in his contract can be activated next season to allow him to move for £70m.

 

WATCH: Dortmund stars prepare for new season

 

To nobody’s surprise, Haaland’s agent and one of football’s biggest slimeballs, Mino Raiola, is asking for a commission of £34.2m for any deal done for his client – a fee that Chelsea fans will no doubt be more than happy to crowdfund for, rather than having to endure another season watching Werner make Adrian Mutu look like a world-beater.

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But while fans might need to wait for another season before seeing Haaland play in the Premier League, France centre-back Raphael Varane could soon be tearing it up in England, as he is reportedly edging closer to a move to the Red Devils.

 

United are understood to have been given permission to discuss personal terms with the 28-year-old by Real Madrid, who are looking for a fee upwards of £50m for the defender.

 

It is believed that Varane, who has one year left on his contract, is open to joining United this season, although Paris Saint-Germain (who else?) could also make a big money move for the Frenchman, because that’s the only move they know how to make.

 

WATCH: The best of Varane at Real Madrid

 

At United, however, Varane will get the opportunity to play alongside the great Harry Maguire, who was recently described by goalkeeper Dean Henderson as on the same level as Virgil van Dijk.

 

“He plays every single game for Manchester United, the biggest football club in the world and no matter what, he gives his best,” Henderson declared.

 

“Unfortunately, you can't play outstanding in every game, because nobody is perfect, but Harry is a top centre-half.

 

“I'd put him in the same category as Virgil van Dijk, and I'll be proven right in the next couple of years, because he's only going to get better and better.”