Chelsea will target Stuttgart’s Sasa Kalajdzic if they are unable to complete a deal for Erling Haaland, according to reports.
Borussia Dortmund hotshot Haaland is said to be top of the Blues’ shopping list this summer as they search for a new No 9, but Dortmund are thought to want at least £150 million for the prolific Norwegian – a price tag which might prove a stretch too far even for a club with pockets as deep as Chelsea’s.
The Daily Star reports that Kalajdzic has been identified as an alternative, with the 24-year-old likely to be available at an absolute fraction of Haaland’s value.
Kalajdzic will have turned a few heads at the Euros, not least when he stooped at the near post to head in Austria’s goal against Italy in the last 16 at Wembley – some feat for the man who’s the tallest player in the Bundesliga, topping out at a lofty 6’6″.
It’s hard to see Kalajdzic as the long-term solution to Chelsea’s woes in front of goal, though; he’s simply not close to Haaland’s level (then again, few are). If he were to move to Stamford Bridge, it would surely be to complement Thomas Tuchel’s existing centre-forward options –and perhaps take some of the strain off Timo Werner, who managed just six Premier League goals in his first season in England after a £47.5m switch from RB Leipzig.
Kalajdzic struck 16 times in the Bundesliga last season as Stuttgart finished ninth upon their return to the German top flight.
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