Frank Lampard claims he ‘pushed hard’ for Erling Haaland to join Chelsea ahead of Man City clash

Frank Lampard was ‘pushing hard’ for Chelsea to sign Erling Haaland in the past and will now face the Norwegian when his Chelsea side travel to Manchester City.

City host Chelsea at the Etihad on Sunday knowing three points will guarantee them a third consecutive Premier League title, without having to rely on results elsewhere. Arsenal face Nottingham Forest on Saturday and defeat at the City Ground would hand Pep Guardiola’s side the title before they kick-off.

Key to this season’s success has been the incredible form of Haaland, whose debut season tally of 52 goals in 49 games has seen records broken on a near-weekly basis. 36 of those goals have come in the Premier League, which incredibly is the same as the entire Chelsea squad.

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The London club have been plagued by wasteful finishing in a season in which a No.9 would have made a huge difference. And if Lampard had his way, that could well have been Haaland.

“It’s fantastic from him [the record], the Chelsea side is another story,” Lampard said of Haaland. “He’s a player I tried to bring to Chelsea, his level at that point was very clear.

“Credit to him, I love seeing players at that level with the hunger to be the best and in terms of dealing with him, you have to have a plan. I’m sure the players have a good awareness of him.

“I couldn’t compare him to Didier but Didier had that impact over a long period of time. Haaland’s impact has been more instant. I don’t think it’s a direct comparison but they’re both great strikers.

“I don’t know if he would have decided to come anyway but I was a big fan. I was pushing big, he was the outstanding one.”

Chelsea travel to the Etihad hoping to dampen any premature title celebrations with a shock result, but the 90 minutes could end up completely academic if Arsenal lost at Forest. Confirmation of a fifth title in six seasons before kick-off would only increase the party feeling in the blue half of Manchester, with Lampard’s side potentially holding a guard of honour for their hosts.

Asked about the prospect, the Chelsea boss added. “I haven’t [thought about it] but we could do. That has happened to me in my career.”

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