Chelsea have identified towering Stuttgart forward Sasa Kalajdzic as a potential target if they fail to convince Borussia Dortmund to offload Erling Haaland this summer.
As first revealed by 90min, Chelsea are readying a bid of up to £150m to sign Haaland, although Dortmund continue to insist that there isn’t a sum of money on the planet that could convince them to sell the 20-year-old this year.
While it is thought that Dortmund would at least listen to an offer of £150m, there is an awareness that Haaland may be impossible to sign this summer. If their pursuit of the Norwegian fails, Chelsea are expected to turn to Inter’s Romelu Lukaku or Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Those alternative targets would both cost in excess of £100m and may well be out of reach as well, so Chelsea are looking at possible cheaper alternatives, and according to The Athletic, Kalajdzic is a new addition to the radar.
The 6’7 Austrian bagged 16 goals in 33 appearances for Stuttgart last season and even added six assists for good measure, and Chelsea are interested in bringing him to Stamford Bridge if all else fails.
There has been no contact between the two clubs just yet and any future talks may not go well as Stuttgart are not keen to sell and are expected to demand upwards of £30m for the 24-year-old.
Finding a striker is Chelsea’s top priority, but there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes as the Blues look to bolster in a handful of positions.
In central midfield, West Ham’s Declan Rice is the top target, but his £100m asking price is a major problem and has led Chelsea to Monaco’s Aurelien Tchouameni.
Chelsea are giving ‘serious thought’ to moving for the 21-year-old, who was named Ligue 1’s best young player last season and is expected to cost significantly less than Rice.
A new centre-back is wanted, as is a new reserve goalkeeper to replace Willy Caballero, who left upon the expiry of his contract this summer.
Wayne Hennessey is a candidate, but the former Crystal Palace man has been tipped to join Burnley, and that could force Chelsea to turn to another free agent, former Fulham stopper Marcus Bettinelli.
Bettinelli was pursued by Chelsea as far back as 2015, when he rejected a move over fears he would not get enough minutes, but the Blues hope that he may have changed his viewpoint over the past six seasons.