Chelsea supporters knew that any potential deal for Erling Haaland would involve mind-boggling figures, but Mino Raiola has outdone himself this time.
Recent reports from Germany have revealed the so-called ‘super-agent’ was demanding his client be paid a whopping £820,000-a-week!
I’ve regularly used the phrase ‘stretching’ when referring to what Haaland’s arrival would do to Chelsea’s wage structure, but it feels like the word ‘obliterating’ is more apt here.
Whether these figures are accurate remains to be seen, but if they are then Chelsea’s decision to sign Romelu Lukaku instead of Haaland is totally justified.
There are a variety of reasons why Haaland – despite clearly being a generational talent – was not the perfect choice for Thomas Tuchel.
Firstly, there’s the involvement of Raiola. The notorious agent is always the loudest voice in the biggest transfer sagas and he’s become renowned for his fiery quotes which, more often than not, cause uproar on social media.
Chelsea have steered clear of doing business with Raiola before.
Their reluctance to enter talks with him back in 2017 meant they ultimately missed out on the signing of Lukaku, with the Belgium international instead heading to Premier League rivals Manchester United.
The Blues were forced to settle with Alvaro Morata instead, and we all know how that turned out.
In the saga, Chelsea allegedly felt duped by Raiola as they assumed a deal for Lukaku was done, only for Raiola to use the west London club as leverage before rubber-stamping his client’s move to United.
A year later, Lukaku cut ties with Raiola and hired Federico Pastorello to be his agent instead. The Italian reportedly has a better relationship with Marina Granovskaia and was involved in facilitating Lukaku’s return to west London this summer.
Not only was Raiola demanding extortionate wages for Haaland, he was also asking for a £34million agent’s fee as part of the deal – oh and there was a regular salary for himself in a five-year package worth £275million, because, well, why not?
All of this sounds utterly ridiculous and the complete opposite of how Chelsea want to do business.
The Blues’ squad harmony must be at an all-time high right now following their Champions League win and their decent business in the transfer window, so signing a 21-year-old and making him the highest-paid player at the club would only disrupt a group of players who are now contenders for both domestic and continental silverware.
As Chelsea look to secure new contracts for Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho – all senior players who featured in the Champions League final triumph – ploughing so much money into a deal for Haaland would only have caused problems further down the line and could have impacted Chelsea’s bid to tie the aforementioned players down.
Aside from the financials, we’ve already had enough proof of Raiola’s behaviour to know he’s unlikely to keep quiet for too long.
Some of the comments he’s made about Paul Pogba have caused unncessary headaches for Manchester United and you can guarantee he’d bring a similar sideshow to Stamford Bridge.
There’s also a general fear that Haaland, so early on in his career, would not see Chelsea as a long-term destination.
Missing out on him this summer means that the well-known €75m release clause will be activated next year when it’s expected Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Manchester City, Manchester United and more will all be chasing the youngster.
As Chelsea discovered with Eden Hazard, a lot of superstars still chase the dream of playing at the Santiago Bernabéu or Camp Nou. With an agent like Raiola drumming up interest, it’s likely that Haaland’s time at Chelsea would have been brief and full of constant speculation.
Signing Lukaku instead of Haaland means Chelsea have avoided the drama any player signed to Raiola brings, and the club haven’t needed to absolutely smash their wage structure in order to facilitate the move.
Lukakua has always wanted to play at Stamford Bridge and now finally has the chance to fulfill his fantasy of becoming Chelsea’s main man, while Granovskaia continues to prove just how shrewd an operator she is in the transfer market.
Signing Haaland would have presented a huge gamble and it’s a gamble that the reigning European champions just didn’t need to take.
Chelsea already have their main man in Lukaku and there aren’t many supporters who’ll be losing sleep over not signing Haaland.
What do you think about Chelsea’s interest in Haaland? Follow our new Chelsea Fan Brand Writers Daniel Childs on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
Source by Football London