Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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Chelsea could be handed a significant Erling Haaland transfer boost by avoiding an £80million deal for Declan Rice and taking advantage of Boubacar Kamara’s stand-off with Marseille.
A £67m release clause in Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund contract becomes active next summer, and the Blues may opt to wait 12 months to trigger it rather than pay a fee close to £150m this year.
Head coach Thomas Tuchel is desperate to add a forward to his attacking options after seeing his side frequently misfire last season, despite their sensational run to Champions League success and a top-four finish.
Midfielder Jorginho was the West Londoners’ top Premier League scorer, despite each of his seven goals being penalties.
The £47m summer signing Timo Werner scored just six times in the top-flight and endured two lengthy goalless streaks.
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Haaland would present Tuchel with an upgrade on Werner, having struck a staggering 57 goals in 59 matches for Dortmund since joining the German side in January 2020.
But Chelsea would still need to raise funds for such an expensive transfer and a deal for Rice might scupper their chances of buying Haaland.
West Ham are believed to want around £80m for the England midfielder, who justified the price tag with several excellent performances at Euro 2020.
It means that Chelsea might look elsewhere for Tuchel’s desired midfielder, and they could turn their attention to Marseille starlet Kamara.
According to Get French Football News, the Ligue 1 side need to improve their financial situation and view Kamara as an asset for whom they can recoup funds.
The 21-year-old could be available for as little as £12m and would be an excellent alternative to Rice.
A defensive midfielder who can also play just as capably as a centre-back, his versatility would be important if Tuchel is to continue with the 3-4-3 system that was so successful last term.
Kamara, a France under-21 international, broke into the Marseille team in the 2017-18 campaign and has made 122 appearances for the club.
He played helped them finish fifth in Ligue 1 last season, featuring in all but three of their 38 top-flight fixtures.
Tuchel has demanded at least a couple of signings to help him challenge Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United for the Premier League title.
“Two or three could be very, very good,” he said after the Champions League final victory over Man City.
“It’s a constant thing to never deny change.
“That you always bring new energy, new guys who question the old beliefs, who challenge everybody in the training and in matches, so I think it’s a good thing.
“We don’t need another seven and another complete turnover because it’s also our job to keep on improving.
“Because we have still a young squad and it’s not about stealing from them the chance to prove it again that they are capable of growing and evolving.
“But we have some ideas, of course, to make the group stronger and I think this can always be a positive thing to challenge all of us.”
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