Borussia Dortmund look set to play hardball with Chelsea over Erling Haaland, just like they did with Jadon Sancho and Manchester United last summer.
The Blues have been linked with a stunning £150million move for 20-year-old striker Haaland this window, jumping ahead of the clubs waiting for the Norwegian’s £68m release clause to activate next year.
But Dortmund are no pushovers in the market, as United discovered during their bid to sign Sancho in 2020, before finally getting their man for £73m in recent weeks.
And the German club’s directors have come out swinging amid more transfer rumours around their star players this summer.
Future sporting director Sebastian Kehl, who will replace Michael Zorc next year, has already ruled out a transfer for Haaland.
Asked whether he the goal machine will still be at the club after August 31, Kehl told Bild: “Yes.”
He then added: “In the conversations with Mino Raiola about the [Donyell] Malen transfer, I did not have the feeling that we would have to meet again soon about Erling.
“And we have already emphasised 1000 times that we do not want to give him up.”
Meanwhile, Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke has also insisted Haaland will not be leaving.
The boss also warned suitors off Germany international Julian Brandt, who has been linked with a move to Lazio with manager Maurizio Sarri reportedly keen to bring him to Rome.
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“I repeat it every day: Brandt will stay at Borussia Dortmund,” Watzke said, as quoted by Tuttosport.
“For me it has always been very clear. Julian will stay with us – as well as Erling Haaland. I keep repeating it every day, but nobody seems to care.
“Every week I hear a different thing, but for us it is normal, that Brandt stays at Dortmund.”