Chelsea can challenge for Premier League title with or without transfer target Erling Haaland next season, Andros Townsend claims

Chelsea can be serious title challengers next season – with or without Erling Haaland, Andros Townsend has declared.

It is no secret that the Blues are on the hunt for a new striker this summer and Haaland is at the top of Roman Abramovich’s wish list.

Haaland would be the signing of the summer if Chelsea can get it done

Reports have suggested that the Russian billionaire is willing to sanction a £150million move to sign the Borussia Dortmund sensation.

The Bundesliga club are only willing to listen to offers in that region and they will seriously consider that kind of bid, with Haaland’s release clause next summer just £67m.

However, Townsend reckons the Blues could be a force to be reckoned with for the top-flight crown even without the Dortmund talisman next term.

Asked whether the European champions could compete with the likes of Man City, he told talkSPORT: “I think they’re proper title contenders anyway. We’ve seen since Thomas Tuchel came in how much they’ve bridged the gap to Man City.

Abramovich is willing to splash the cash to sign Haaland

“They won the Champions League and beat Man City twice. Once in the league and in the Cup.

“They’re title contenders with or without Haaland anyway.

“I am a bit sceptical about the Haaland one, though, as he has a release clause next season.

“Because he’s so young, is he worth paying double that fee now?”

Haaland won his first trophy for Borussia Dortmund last season as he scooped the DFB-Pokal

Haaland netted a staggering 41 goals in 41 games in all competitions for Dortmund last season and is already one of the top strikers in the world.

However, Dortmund’s incoming sporting director Sebastian Kehl has insisted the club have no intention of selling Haaland.

Talking to Sky Germany, Kehl said: “There is nothing new on this matter. He is in our plans.

“Erling will return this week and he will be very hungry.

Haaland is the hottest property in world football

“He wants to play football, he feels comfortable with us and he will be eager to score many goals.”

Speaking to German outlet Bild, Michael Zorc, who is currently Dortmund’s sporting director, said: “Nothing has changed.

“We plan with Erling for the new season.”