Erling Haaland is one of the most in-demand young talents in the world game, but his eye-watering salary demands reportedly proved too much for even Roman Abramovich as Chelsea eyed a record-breaking move for the prodigy.
Haaland, 21, was thought to be chief on the Blues’ shopping list as Thomas Tuchel’s European champions sought to address the club’s goalscoring woes which saw midfielder Jorginho finish last campaign as top scorer with just seven strikes – each of which came from the penalty spot.
But the Norway star, whose father, Alf-Inge Haaland, played for ten years in English football, looks set to stay with German club Borussia Dortmund for at least one more season.
Haaland is sure to command another transfer scramble next summer when a release clause in his contract comes into play which will set his fee at around £64 million ($87.75 million) – but Chelsea attempted to steal a march on their European rivals by putting together a transfer package in recent weeks.
However, per a report in Bild, Chelsea and their chief transfer negotiator, Marina Granovskaia, quickly realized that a deal wouldn’t be forthcoming when they were made aware that Haaland and agent Mino Raiola wre demanding that the London club smash their own wage structure to secure Haaland’s services.
The German publication is reporting that Haaland was demanding weekly wages of £820,000 per week ($1.12 million) – with Raiola also wanting an agent’s fee of £34 million ($46.6 million) as part of a five-year package which would have cost Chelsea a cool £275 million ($377 million).
The transfer fee being requested by the German club was also said to have been in the region of £150 million ($205.7 million).
Haaland found the net on 62 occasions in just 61 games for the Bundesliga side after joining Dortmund from RB Salzburg in January 2019 and has also commanded interest from the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City.
It is thought that Manchester United may be in pole position for his signature next summer, given that the cub has a developed relationship with Raiola, having signed several of his clients in the past including Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Manchester United’s French World Cup winner, midfielder Paul Pogba, is also represented by Raiola.
The Red Devils’ chances of landing Haaland are buoyed by the player having already played under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer during their spell in the Norwegian top division with Molde.
Chelsea, meanwhile, ended their pursuit of Haaland and turned their attentions to their former striker Romelu Lukaku, who recently sealed a £97.5 million ($133.7 million) move to Stamford Bridge from Inter Milan – and judging by the Belgium star’s man of the match performance in his second debut for the club last weekend against London rivals Arsenal, that seems to be money very well spent.