Chelsea are ready to cut their losses on new signing Timo Werner, with reports claiming Thomas Tuchel has asked the club's board to seek a swap deal for Erling Haaland.
Werner has struggled to live up to expectations since joining Chelsea from RB Leipzig in the off-season. So far, he has scored 10 goals from 39 appearances. That is a respectable tally, but he did go two months without a goal earlier in the season.
What's more, only one of his five Premier League goals has come in 2021. Despite a promising beginning, it seems Werner's prospects at Chelsea are already fading.
There have been rumours that the club will try to sign an upgrade in the summer. For example, one of the names in contention is their former centre forward Romelu Lukaku.
But the Belgian is simply an alternative to their main target – Dortmund starlet Haaland.
The Norway international has enjoyed a meteoric rise in recent seasons. Still only 20 years old, he has scored 49 goals in 49 games for Dortmund since joining them in January 2020.
His spectacular form in front of goal has seen him tipped to be a future Ballon d'Or winner. It seems unlikely he will be staying in the Bundesliga for much longer.
Haaland has an appealing €75 million release clause that will only be active in the summer of 2022. In the meantime, Dortmund can command whatever price they like.
Chelsea and his other interested suitors were recently warned that it could take upwards of €150m to prize him away. But one way the Blues could reduce the asking price is by sending Werner the other way.
The former Stuttgart striker previously enjoyed several productive seasons in the Bundesliga. Hence, a return to his native country could bring out his best once again.
But recent reports indicated that Werner has no desire to make such a move. Under contract until 2025, he would rather stay and fight for his place.
It appears his manager has other ideas, though. Tuchel is yet to see the best of Werner since taking charge of Chelsea in January.
As such, reports claim that he has told owner Roman Abramovich to use his compatriot as bait in a bid for Haaland.
Chelsea are just one of many suitors for Haaland, who also has admirers at Manchester City, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona. But with a prohibitive asking price, a cash-plus-player swap deal may be the way to win the race.
Chelsea can offer Dortmund a like-for-like replacement in return who has already been successful in Germany. It seems Tuchel wants Abramovich to take advantage of this to make sure they get their man.