Chelsea forward Pernille Harder is happy to see her record transfer fee broken
Chelsea attacker Pernille Harder is more than ready to see her record transfer broken, if not smashed.
Two years ago, the Denmark international signed a three-year contract with the Blues for a transfer fee widely reported to be in excess of £250,000.
While financial details in the women’s game are not generally disclosed, it was, at least according to Harder’s previous club Wolfsburg, the highest fee paid in women’s football history.
That milestone could well be surpassed this summer, with rumours of nearly double the Dane’s fee offered to PSG midfielder Grace Geyoro and Barcelona reportedly renewing talks to lure Keira Walsh away from Manchester City with an eye-watering six-figure sum.
“(The record being broken) is totally fine,” Harder said. “I’m happy that it keeps getting higher. That’s what I wanted, I wanted to start something new. To start in women’s football that you could actually buy players as well. I’m really good with that.
“It’s a good development for women’s football, that players don’t have to play their contracts out but they can actually get sold and the clubs can actually get something out of the players.
“I think it’s good for women’s football to get the money rolling, you could say it like that, but it shows that it just keeps developing.”
Defending champions Chelsea will hope to extend their record-breaking three consecutive Women’s Super League titles when their 2022/23 campaign kicks off against West Ham at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
The 2020/21 Champions League runners-up are also desperate to improve on their European record after a disappointing group stage exit at the hands of Harder’s former Bundesliga club last December.
Chelsea’s back line has been bolstered by the arrival of Canadian Olympic gold medallist and five-time Champions League winner Kadeisha Buchanan, who signed a three-year deal in June. Swedish winger Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, French defender Eve Perisset and Czech Republic international Katerina Svitkova are among Emma Hayes’ other summer additions.
Nearly 25,000 fans turned out for the Blues’ last match at Stamford Bridge in 2019, a repeat prospect Harder’s versatile team-mate Niamh Charles is hoping they’ll replicate this time out.
But the winger-turned-full-back, who last month signed a three-year extension, insisted the home opener not be seen as the women’s first team dropping by their Premier League counterparts’ dwellings for a visit.
“Kingsmeadow is definitely home for us and we have a great connection with the fans and with the place but we are all professionals,” she said.
“[But] Stamford Bridge is also our home, it is part of the club and as soon as you come to the club you go to Stamford Bridge.
“I also think it is the fans that make the place home and hopefully the Chelsea fans will be really loud so it will feel like a home game – often at away games it feels like a home game because of the noise of our fans which is incredible.
“Playing in big stadiums is what we all look forward to.”
And come November, a number of Chelsea’s Premier Leaguers could be on a plane to Qatar. Charles agreed the unusual World Cup timing might benefit box offices in the WSL, which will play out three rounds between when the Premier League breaks up on November 13 and its Boxing Day return.
“I think that’s an opportunity,” she added. “The whole country will be supporting England, which is great, but I think having [women’s] games played on home soil, means that fans who would have gone to men’s games will hopefully come to us. It should be a real driver to the clubs to say ‘Come down to the women’s games’.
“Off the back of the Euros people are a lot more interested, so it’s definitely exciting and we can look to build on it as we do with every international break.”
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