Exclusive: Chelsea to announce signing of Wolfsburg forward Pernille Harder on Tuesday

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    Chelsea will announce the signing of Wolfsburg forward Pernille Harder on Tuesday, two days after she turns out in the Champions League final against Lyon, Telegraph Sport understands.

    The 27-year-old has been linked with the Women’s Super League champions, who won the first Women’s Community Shield since 2008 on Saturday.

    The prolific four-time Bundesliga winner, who scored 27 times in 22 league games last season, has 105 goals in her three years at the club and will aim to earn her first Champions League winner’s medal on Sunday evening. The Denmark centurion’s contract with the German club expires in summer 2021. 

    Harder’s partner Magdalena Eriksson, 26, also plays for Chelsea and the couple have previously spoken openly about their wishes to live together at some point after years of living apart since meeting at Linkopings FC.

    Only last week, Eriksson described England’s WSL as “the place to be”, adding: “I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.” Being closer to Eriksson is understood to also be a factor in Harder’s move. 

    Harder would become the latest superstar to move to the English league following the arrival of World Cup winners Rose Lavelle and Sam Mewis to Manchester City earlier this summer and the Australian Sam Kerr’s decision to move to Chelsea last year. Chelsea Women declined to comment when approached by Telegraph Sport.

    When asked about rumours linking Harder to the club after Saturday’s game, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said: “Like any manager in this position, I’d never speculate on other teams and players, and especially considering there’s a Champions League tomorrow, I think that would be completely inappropriate.” 

    Chelsea overcame the FA Cup holders Manchester City 2-0 at Wembley on Saturday in the first elite domestic women’s football match in England for almost 200 days.

    A red card for Manchester City midfielder Jill Scott, just after the hour mark – a second yellow for a second challenge on Chelsea playmaker Ji So-yun – turned the game in Chelsea’s favour, but Scott will not be suspended due to the non-competitive status of the game. Soon after, Chelsea defender Millie Bright was able to open the scoring with a fierce drive from outside the area that dipped beyond City goalkeeper Ellie Roebuck, before Erin Cuthbert, who has recently signed a new three-year contract at Chelsea that will keep her at the club until 2023, added the second in stoppage time. 

    It was a first defeat for the new City manager Gareth Taylor, appointed this summer as Nick Cushing’s successor. City full-back Esme Morgan told the club website that the sight of Chelsea – who have emerged as their closest rivals in recent seasons – lifting the trophy would motivate City to win the five remaining trophies, including the Champions League and two FA Cups given last season’s will be resumed from the quarter-final stage before City enter the 2020/21 competition. 

    “This will only give us a lot more drive and determination to turn things around in the season and compete for all the other trophies that are available,” Morgan, 19, said. “Watching them celebrate and throw the champagne around hurts a lot and makes the disappointment really intense, but I think when we look back and reflect, we’ll find the things we could have improved on and go back into training and work even harder to put it right.

    “I think in the first half we struggled a bit with our pressing and we didn’t get enough pressure on the ball, which meant they were able to play through us a bit easier than we would have liked. 

    “Losing Jill was also unfortunate, and it came at a key point in the game when the momentum was shifting back and forwards. We then had to re-organise and it made things a lot more difficult for us to get up to the ball and press them as they had a spare player.”

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    SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com

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