Will Chelsea sign a striker this summer?
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Alexander Isak is far from the first player to use a major tournament as a springboard into the transfer market and he won’t be the last. But while the 21-year-old forward has undoubtedly caught the eye for an otherwise conversative Sweden side, his performances may not be enough for him to earn a big-money move this summer.
Isak has not arrived from nowhere: he was already very much on the radar already, having contributed 17 goals and two assists in 34 La Liga appearances for Real Sociedad last season.
But with Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and his gigantic ego – absent from Euro 2020, it is Isak who has carried the hopes of Sweden in Group E and attracted admiring gazes from scouts.
The youngster has revelled in his heightened role, providing one of his side’s very few attacking threats in a 0-0 draw against Spain and a 1-0 win over Slovakia.
Isak’s pace, determination and skill has been a blessing for manager Janne Andersson, who is content for his side to sit deep and defend in two banks of four before trying to spring counter-attackers through their young forward.
Standing out in such an unambitious side is no mean feat and predictably his efforts have been followed by transfer rumours.
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Borussia Dortmund, who bought Isak from Swedish club AIK before selling him to Real Sociedad in June 2019 for £5.85million, had been linked with a move for their former player.
However, AS reports that the Spanish side have now succeeded in annulling Dortmund’s £25.9m (€30m) buy-back option on the Swede, who is under contract until 2024.
Isak has a £60.13m (€70m) release clause in his Real contract, which AS reports the club are ‘not willing today to reduce [by] a single euro’.
However, despite the fees involved, the Spanish newspaper reports that Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal are all keeping tabs on Isak.
Chelsea are, of course, in the market for a striker this summer, with Thomas Tuchel searching for the missing piece of his jigsaw.
The Blues won the Champions League last season after splashing out north of £200m on new players last summer, but are clearly lacking a goal scorer.
Jorginho finished as the side’s top scorer in the Premier League with seven penalties as new arrivals Timo Werner and, to a lesser extent, Kai Havertz struggled in front of goal.
Chelsea have been linked with Dortmund star Erling Haaland – he of 41 goals in as many games last season – as well as Tottenham’s Harry Kane (28 goals) and Inter Milan’s Romelu Lukaku (30 goals).
In this context, their interest in Isak appears slightly odd. Haaland, Kane and Lukaku are the cream of the crop: Europe’s best marksmen coming off the back of prolific seasons.
Isak is a young, talented and relatively unproven striker still making his way in elite football.
Chelsea are a side backed by the riches of Roman Abramovich who are aiming for a Premier League title challenge in 2021/22.
Having signed Werner, Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy last summer, they need a player of a similar pedigree to provide the cherry on the top of their cake.
Any of Haaland, Kane or Lukaku would fit the bill. Despite his many qualities and high ceiling, at this early stage in his career Isak would not.
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