Reports have claimed that Champions League winners Chelsea have successfully persuaded Norway wonderkid Erling Haaland to agree personal terms with them, sealing the first part of the deal in his transfer from Borussia Dortmund.

Turning 21 next month, Haaland is one of the hottest properties in European football and a string of top clubs are looking to land a talent who, along with Kylian Mbappe, is tipped to succeed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among the game’s biggest stars.

His potential suitors include Barcelona, Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid, but Chelsea appear to be the only club making tangible progress on capturing the explosive youngster.

Not put off by his lofty price tag, the Blues do not wish to wait until next summer, when it is believed Haaland will be available via a unique $91 million release clause that Dortmund have denied exists.

Insider Ian McGarry has now claimed that “personal terms for Haaland are signed off” and it is now “just a case of Chelsea agreeing a fee with Dortmund.”

Some, such as The Transfer Window Podcast’s Duncan Castles, put the figure as high as $218 million, which would dwarf the club record $97 million Chelsea paid for Champions League final winner-scoring Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen last summer and underperforming ‘keeper Kepa from Athletic Bilbao in 2018.

It would also eclipse the British record transfer fee of $148 million that Barcelona handed over for Philippe Coutinho earlier that year.

“There are rumors coming from Jan Aage Fjortoft. He is always correct when he talks on these kind of players and it’s 100 per cent true that Chelsea are interested in Erling Haaland. Confirmed and true,” insisted transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano recently.

“Dortmund’s position is that the player is not leaving this summer. If they sell [Jadon] Sancho [to Manchester United], they see it as really complicated to sell Haaland. Borussia Dortmund have no intention to negotiate.

“For sure, Chelsea want to try. If Chelsea want to do something crazy, and when I say crazy, it [will cost] more than $182 million.”

Coach Thomas Tuchel wants new arrivals as he plans a Premier League title challenge.

“Two or three [signings] could be very, very good,” he admitted. “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.”

Haaland has remained non-committal on Haaland “out of respect” for the player and the club he managed from 2015 to 2017.

“He’s a Borussia Dortmund player, and of course, there’s big news around him and his agent. And it seems like they are creating a race for the player,” the German said.

“But still everybody needs to accept, and I will fully accept, that he is a Borussia Dortmund player. A very promising player of course, but with respect to the situation he’s not in our squad, he’s not in our club – so there’s no comment on anything else regarding him.” (RT)