Borussia Dortmund sporting director Micheal Zorc confirmed Erling Haaland was already in London after the highly-rated forward absent from club’s first day of pre-season training session, on Monday.
The Norwegian star, who established himself as one of the hottest properties in Europe – scoring 41 goals with additional of 13 assists across all competitions for Dortmund last season, and is believed to be Chelsea’s number one transfer target this summer as Tuchel looks to bring in a new number nine.
Any deal would require the Champions League holder to shatter the Premier League transfer record, with Dortmund adamant he will not be sold even though a release clause becomes active in a year’s time allowing him to leave for just £64million.
The 20-year-old striker threatened to ignite speculation that he could be ready to force through a move to west London when he was a no-show for pre-season training, but Zorc played down his absence and even joked about the transfer rumours.
‘Erling is already in England,’ the sporting director jokingly told Sky Germany on Monday after it became apparent that Haaland would not be reporting to training as previously expected.
Speaking over the weekend to Bild about Haaland’s future, Zorc said: ‘Nothing has changed. We are firmly planning with Erling for the new season.’
As a result of that, Thomas Tuchel’s recruitment team will switch their attention to Haaland alternative with including Robert Lewandowski, Romelu Lukaku and Harry Kane, who is eyeing a summer move away from Tottenham Hotspur.