Chelsea could deal Man Utd the ultimate transfer blow despite Erling Haaland decision

In pictures: Chelsea v Crystal Palace

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Chelsea’s reported interest in Jude Bellingham will come as bad news for Manchester United, who have tailed the youngster for a number of years. The Red Devils must accept a bit of transfer give and take, however, after the Blues signed Romelu Lukaku earlier this week to create a clearer path between United and Erling Haaland.

Thomas Tuchel’s side got off to an ideal start on Saturday, opening their Premier League season with an easy 3-0 win over Crystal Palace.

In truth, the Blues barely got out of second gear at Stamford Bridge, while the confident performance and superb strike by Trevoh Chalobah will come as a welcome bonus for the west London side.

A fairy-ale start to the season for the 22-year-old could sweep the pursuit of £60million-rated Jules Kounde under the carpet, freeing up more funds to spend in other positions.

Based on the club’s £98m signing of Romelu Lukaku earlier this week, owner Roman Abramovich is clearly not afraid to throw money at Tuchel’s squad after last season’s exploits.

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The signing did, however, do United a massive favour by removing Chelsea from the race to sign Haaland next summer.

If 28-year-old Lukaku is one for now, teenage Bellingham would undoubtedly be one for now and the future.

Having already made his England debut, the Birmingham City youth product is touted as a future regular in light of his performances for Borussia Dortmund.

Eurosport’s Dean Jones, when talking to The Football Terrace podcast, believes there could be potential in a deal between Bellingham and Chelsea.

“I’ve talked about Jude Bellingham in the past and that one becomes interesting. And we’ll see what happens at Dortmund this season under Marco Rose,” he said.

“I know he’s excited about the project there and he’s definitely getting better as a player.

“But Chelsea do also have an eye on Jude Bellingham. If, for whatever reason, Declan Rice doesn’t work out.”

The price-tag for Dortmund’s young midfielder will remain a bone of contention for now, but it is likely to be short of the £100m demanded by West Ham for Declan Rice, one of Chelsea’s alternative targets.

A move by Chelsea would certainly not be welcomed by United, who have monitored Bellingham as a long-term target.

They have a history of flaunting some of the best young Englishmen around at Old Trafford, and the all-action box-to-box midfielder is certainly one of those.

Chelsea removing themselves from the race for Haaland was a major bonus for United, but they cannot expect to have it all their own way. The Blues’ newfound pursuit of Bellingham is proof of that.

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