Erling Haaland was absent from Dortmund’s first day of pre-season training on Monday, though sporting director Michael Zorc has rejected speculation he is leaving.
The Norwegian star, who was superb last season, is believed to be Chelsea’s number one transfer target as Thomas Tuchel looks to sign a new number nine.
Any deal would need Chelsea to shatter the Premier League record, with Dortmund adamant he will not be sold even though a release clause becomes active next year which will allow him to leave for only £64m.
Haaland threatened to ignite speculation that he could force through a move to London when he was absent for pre-season training, but Zorc played down his absence and even joked about the transfer speculation.
‘Erling is already in England,’ the sporting director jokingly told Sky Germany on Monday after it became emerged that Haaland would not be reporting to training as expected.
Speaking over the weekend to Bild about Haaland’s future, Zorc said: ‘Nothing has changed. We are firmly planning with Erling for the new season.’
Haaland is believed to be keen on testing himself in the Premier League and would welcome a move to Chelsea, though Dortmund are under no pressure to sell.
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The Bundesliga giants have already pocketed £72.9m this summer from Jadon Sancho’s move to Man United and it would therefore take a huge offer to convince Dortmund to sell Haaland.
Speaking about his future, the prolific attacker said in May: ‘I have a contract for a couple of years, so I am respectful towards my contract.
‘I am a simple guy. When I like something I just want to have more – when I score a goal, I always chase the next goal.’