Manchester United boss confirms he’s “in touch with Erling” Haaland as Chelsea intensify effort to sign hot-shot

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not ruled out a new bid for Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland amid Chelsea taking practical steps to sign the goal poacher.

The Manchester United manager has a good relationship with the 20-year-old having managed him at Molde, and it is understood that the Red Devils tried to sign him in the 2020 January transfer window before he ultimately moved to the Bundesliga.

And, Chelsea are reportedly equally interested in the Norway international as club owner Roman Abramovich is said to have produced a ludicrously-large summer war chest which will enable the club to splurge obscene cash on, not only Haaland, but other stars in the next transfer window.

Thomas Tuchel will have plenty of money to spend this summer and Haaland could be just the start.

A release clause in his contract would allow him to leave for €75 million (£65m) in the summer of 2022 and it has led to frenzied speculation about his future.

Solskjaer said: “When you have had kids and players through as a coach, you follow them and I keep in touch with Erling, it’s great to see the player he has become.

“I know he will work to improve all the time. He is a Dortmund player, we wish him well there and let’s see what life will bring later on.”

Asked if any deal was now dead or could be revived Solskjaer said: “You know I can’t speak about Erling, he’s with Borussia Dortmund.

“It’s disrespectful to talk about it apart from I know him and speak to him.

“Who wasn’t interested in him a year ago? Everybody would say you would take the best players in the world and Erling is a top player.

“But for me, we have recruited well. Dan [James] and Bruno [Fernandes] show that the signings we have made since I came to the club have all contributed and added to the squad and that is part of what we have to do.

“We have to complement what we have in our group with other different types of players and also young players. I’m happy with our recruitment model and the processes that we go through.”

Erling Haaland’s agent says there are 10 clubs with financial capacity to sign Chelsea prime target

Erling Haaland’s agent Mino Raiola claims that there are 10 clubs in football – whom he did not name – who are in a financial position to sign his client, with four of them based in England.

The Borussia Dortmund striker has been in the headlines this week after netting twice in his side’s Champions League triumph at Sevilla.

The Norwegian hitman has netted 43 goals in 43 appearances for the German club and a horde of top European clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City, Real madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United see him as a potential future transfer target.

Raiola told BBC Sport, in quotes carried by Cadena Cope: “Only a maximum of 10 clubs can afford to buy him [Haaland] and give the platform you would like after you’ve been in Dortmund… and four of those clubs are in [England].

“I don’t think there’s a sports director or trainer in the world who would say ‘not interested’. It’s like saying: ‘Is there a Formula 1 team who would not be interested in having Lewis Hamilton?’”

It remains unclear if either Los Blancos or the Blaugrana are included in such a list, with neither in a financial position that would allow them to sign such in-demand players without firstly sanctioning sales from their respective first-team squads.

Atletico Madrid Madrid boss reveals what he intends to do to Giroud, other Chelsea stars in London

Diego Simeone insists his team needs to stop Chelsea stars’ speed for Atletico Madrid to make any meaningful impact in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 in London.

The Los Rojiblancos boss opted for a defensive formation that appeared to be almost a six at the back out of possession, ceding the ball to the Londoners.

Chelsea took the lead heading into the final quarter of the game, through an Olivier Giroud bicycle kick.

The Frenchman had pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the box to deliver the killer blow against an insipid Atletico.

“Looking three weeks ahead is too far,” Simeone said when asked about the return leg in comments carried by Marca.

“We have a lot of games until then. We’ll be playing against an opponent with speed and will need to be able to stop it, to deal with forwards like Giroud and other powerful players.

“We need to have more of the ball and position ourselves better in attack. We’ll work on it, but we also have an important game against Villarreal. Work, work, work. I trust the team we have. If we were in the month of September and they told me we’ve lost but we’re still leading, I’d sign for it.”

Defiant Atletico Madrid captain talks tough, tells Chelsea what they should expect during second leg in London

Atletico Madrid’s captain Koke has not given up despite his club’s defeat to Chelsea in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 in nBucharest.

Olivier Giroud’s second half overhead kick goal separated Chelsea from the La Liga leaders going to the second leg in London.

But, Koke, speaking post-match in comments carried by Marca as cited by Football Espana, was defiant when asked about the way forward. “We have to go to London to win, there’s no other choice,” he said.

“We mustn’t think about away goals. If we score two goals we go through. We have to go there with the mentality of winning.”

Koke was also optimistic that he and his team-mates could recover from their recent dip in form and finish the season strong. “It’s difficult, but we usually get up and we’re going to get up. We’re the same ones who came from a streak of winning eight in a row, competing well. You can’t win all the games, and we’ve had a bad week, that’s reality. But we have to compete and we have to keep fighting. Atletico always get up.”

Photo Credit: atletienglish/Twitter

Chelsea matchwinner Olivier Giroud reveals Thomas Tuchel’s game plan against Atletico Madrid

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has revealed that their game plan was designed to beat Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last 16 first leg tie in Bucharest.

The France international scored the only goal of the match with an acrobatic overhead kick in the second half of the match.

The spectacular overhead kick was awarded by VAR, having originally been disallowed for offside.

After close to three minutes of video review, Felix Brych pointed to the centre-circle to spark wild celebrations from the visitors.

The debate came from whether the ball was diverted into Giroud’s path by Mason Mount or Mario Hermoso.

Ultimately, it was deemed that it was the Atletico defender who purposefully played the ball to the Chelsea striker, and therefore Giroud being in an offside position was irrelevant.

Olivier Giroud told BT Sport after the match that: “We came here with strong intentions to win the game. We knew how we could give them trouble offensively, and I think we’ve been very strong at the back. I think it’s a deserved win. We just need to stay focused and finish the job at home.

“I just tried focus on hitting the ball well and was pleased to see it in the net. I didn’t know if I was offside or not, but Mason [Mount] told me he didn’t touch it and that it came from the defender. It’s good for the team, it’s good for me.”

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter

(Watch Video) Olivier scores spectacular goal! 72’… Atletico Madrid 0-1 Chelsea

Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has eventually breached tough defence through overhead kick in the 72 minutes of the Champions League match in Bucharest.

Watch the goal:

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/Twitter

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea release their line-ups in Champions League last-16 first-leg tie

Chelsea’s four changes include Andreas Christensen replacing Kurt Zouma in the back three, Jorginho coming into midfield for anchorman N’Golo Kante and Olivier Giroud starting ahead of Tammy Abraham in attack.

Callum Hudson-Odoi ousts Reece James down the right – despite being Criticised by boss Thomas Tuchel after being subbed as a sub in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Southampton.

Here are the line-ups for tonight’s Champions League match:

Roman Abramovich set to sign Erling Haaland “at all costs”

Roman Abramovich ‘absolutely wants’ Erling Haaland at Chelsea and will sign the Norwegian ‘at all costs’ this summer.

The 20-year-old striker –who’s scored 27 goals in all competitions this season – has a release clause of £68million, set to be activated in the summer of 2022.

But TuttoMercatoWeb, via football365, claims Haaland is the ‘first name Abramovich absolutely wants’ to sign this summer to help the Premier League side return to a ‘high level in Europe’.

Haaland is a reported target of a number of top European clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid.

And the report states it will be ‘almost impossible’ for Chelsea to beat out competition for his signature in 2022, which is why the Blues will attempt to land him this summer.

Haaland will reportedly be the priority signing with a ‘huge’ €300m (£259m) transfer pot in place for the summer, even if Chelsea fail to qualify for the Champions League.

Victor Osimhen undergoes “further assessment” today after his discharge from hospital on Monday

Victor Osimhen is set to undergo “undergo further assessment” today after his discharge from the hospital on Moday.

The Nigeria international was rushed to hospital after losing consciousness in the stoppages of Atalanta-Napoli on Sunday.

The Napoli striker spent the night under observation in Bergamo but the club confirmed he rejoined the group in Naples on Monday night.

“Victor Osimhen is due to return to Naples on Monday evening after staying in Bergamo overnight as a precaution,” Napoli’s announcement reads as cited by Football Italia.

“The club and doctor Canonico would like to thank the Atalanta medical staff, the resuscitation team at Gewiss Stadium and the A&E staff at the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital for their professionalism. The player will be undergo further assessment on Tuesday.”

Revealed: Massive contract package Erling Haaland is demanding to leave Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland wants a £78m package over five years if he is to leave the club this summer, according to the Daily Star.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are all reportedly interested in Haaland, and a fee of around £100m is being touted.

The 24-year-old Norwegian has scored 25 goals in 24 appearances this season for Dortmund, who are currently sixth in the Bundesliga.

However, one sticking point would be the fact that his agent is Mino Raiola. The ‘super agent’ is a much-maligned figure at Old Trafford given the history with regards to Manchesterv United’s midfielder Paul Pogba.

Haaland has a modest buyout clause of £68m which is activated in 2022. But with competition for the player’s signature heating up, Dortmund could look to wring a good £100m or so from a sale next season itself.