Chelsea: The first six fixtures of the 2021/22 Premier League
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Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud has reportedly agreed to join AC Milan on a two-year deal. The deal is expected to net the Premier League side around £2.5million – but what’s more important is what it says about Thomas Tuchel’s plans for the transfer window.
Various outlets have reported that Giroud is to join Milan, bringing to an end nine seasons in the Premier League – six-and-a-half with Arsenal followed by the past two-and-a-half at Chelsea.
The 34-year-old striker could earn around £6.8m over the course of a two-year deal with the Serie A side.
And he is expected to be followed through the Stamford Bridge exit door by fellow centre-forward Tammy Abraham, who has been linked with a return to Aston Villa where he previously had a loan spell.
Giroud scored crucial goals in Chelsea’s run to Champions League glory last term – but neither he nor Abraham got much game time after Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in the hotseat.
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However, their expected exits would leave only Timo Werner as a viable centre-forward option – and in his first season at the club he did little to prove he can be the prolific goalscorer Tuchel needs to spearhead a Premier League title charge.
Werner caused teams plenty of problems with his movement and pace, but his finishing let him down on numerous occasions.
He could be more suited to playing on the left of Chelsea’s attack – where he can cut inside and help carve open defences.
And that means Tuchel must bring in a surefire striking option, with the signs pointing to a swoop for Erling Haaland.
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Chelsea are reportedly willing to offer up to £150m for Haaland, who slammed in 41 goals in as many games for Borussia Dortmund last season.
They could offer Abraham as part of a swap deal, with the club valuing the 23-year-old at around £40m.
The European kings have also been linked with a move for Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku, although the Serie A side’s recent sale of Achraf Hakimi means they may not need to sell to ease their financial situation.
Harry Kane is also believed to be on Chelsea’s radar, buut it is unlikely that Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy would sanction a sale to his club’s London rivals.
And Chelsea’s hierarchy are thought to be quietly confident that a deal can be done for 20-year-old Haaland.
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They know that, should they wait a year, the Norwegian striker’s release clause of £64m will become active.
But Tuchel, Roman Abramovich & co will be keen to land the striker this summer rather than risk missing out to rivals in a transfer frenzy next summer.
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