The alternative options for clubs chasing Erling Haaland this summer
Erling Haaland's obscene scoring rate and undeniable ability have hot-shotted him to the top of the ladder when it comes to the game's hottest commodities. Borussia Dortmund snapping him up for just €20m in January 2020 was fine business with his resale value now through the roof.
But instead of cashing in on that this summer, the club seems determined to keep hold of the 20-year-old for a little longer, leaving Mino Raiola a frustrated football villain. For the money being demanded to snap up Haaland before a 2022 release clause becomes active, a move doesn't feel reasonable for the interested parties.
Haaland will get his transfer, but for now, those interested should look elsewhere. 90min has compiled a list of alternative forwards to look out for.
1. Harry Kane
By no means is Kane a downgrade on Haaland, nor should he really be considered a 'back-up' option. But let's face it, it does feel that way.
Back-up doesn't mean bad, though. Fresh off the back of an 18 month period learning the dark side under Jose Mourinho, there is a new energy inside Kane desperate to be freed by a top side. Haaland being off the market means Kane is considered the top dog of strikers who could realistically move on.
He won't come cheap, but the investment will pay off for whoever gets there first.
2. Tammy Abraham
Abraham is far from perfect. But he is also criminally overlooked with people keen to reduce him to nothing more than a member of the Frank Lampard experiment.
Intelligent with his movement to isolate the defender or drop between the lines, Abraham has the blueprint to become a seriously well-rounded striker. Consider that movement with an imposing height and immense physicality, there is serious potential that is being wasted at Chelsea.
He has plenty to work on in order to become a consistent threat and needs to better use his strengths to up his contribution numbers, but with Chelsea open to selling, there's a bargain to be had. Abraham is rough around the edges, but waiting to be moulded into a star at just 23.
3. Dusan Vlahovic
21-year-old Vlahovic is hanging with the main event stars in the race for Serie A's top scorer awards.
The Serbian has bagged 19 goals so far in the Italian top flight for a side that sits in the bottom half of the table. Vlahovic is a physical beast, dominating inside the 18-yard box with clinical finishing, excellent movement and running off defenders and a tasty left foot.
Vlahovic has only come to life this season for Fiorentina and is still very green at just 21, but he is explosive by nature - as is Haaland - and is ticking all the boxes to develop into a serial talisman. Plenty of top Italian sides are interested, so clubs must act quickly.
4. Wout Weghorst
Staying within the same league as Haaland, Weghorst is a fascinating alternative.
'Fascinating' because his size resembles that of a WWE world champion. Weghorst is a physical beast who stands at roughly 6'5, but is freakishly mobile and has a broad finishing range and solid technical ability in possession.
He isn't quite as aggressive as Haaland, but still makes smart runs and, at 28, is entering his best years. He'll probably be available for a much more friendly price and is a truly one of a kind option.
5. Patson Daka
Zambian forward Daka is ripping it up in the Austrian Bundesliga with Red Bull Salzburg, in eerily similar fashion to how Haaland did so just a few years ago.
Daka has managed 24 goals in the league thus far and destroys defences by combining some silky smooth footwork with intelligent positioning inside the box and some impressive physical work.
The issue for clubs is that RB Leipzig will probably snap him up due to the links between clubs, but the move presents Daka with a platform to break out at a top level.
6. Donyell Malen
Should the lack of movement on Haaland hurt Raiola's wallet, he has a talent in Malen who is ready to be cashed in on by PSV Eindhoven.
Malen is a versatile forward who finds most success when playing in wide areas, so he isn't exactly the typical 'Haaland' blueprint. He still scores a shed load of goals, though, and is the latest in a growing genre of versatile forwards that can create and score anywhere along the front three.
Coming from the Eredivisie, the Dutchman will likely be available at a fair price. The onus is then on him to show that he can step up to the top level.