German prodigy Kai Havertz looks to be one step closer to completing his mooted move to Premier League side Chelsea as the Blues open talks with Bayer Leverkusen for a move which could break the London club’s transfer record.
Havertz, 21, has been linked with becoming the next piece in Abramovich’s Stamford Bridge transfer revolution after the club already secured the services of Havertz’ German international colleague Timo Werner and Moroccan magician Hakim Ziyech ahead of next season, but it is the German wunderkind Havertz – who has been compared to Zinedine Zidane and Michael Ballack – who could be the crown jewel in Frank Lampard’s rejuvenated Chelsea team.
The Blues secured qualification to next season’s Champions League on Sunday with a 2-0 home win against Wolves, with Lampard admitting afterwards that the potential financial windfall of competing in Europe’s top club competition could help fund further aggressive moves in the transfer market as Abramovich plots to bridge the divide between his side and those in the blue half of Manchester and the red half of Liverpool.
Chelsea’s recent transfer ban, as well as lucrative deals to sell Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata, have left the club with a financial surplus in advance of the upcoming season. The deals for Werner and Ziyech suggest that the club is keen to invest heavily in their playing staff, all while taking advantage of a transfer market which has been impacted by the coronavirus crisis.
According to respected Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have hit the gas on the move for Havertz after securing Champions League qualification. He reports that discussions regarding the transfer have begun between Chelsea and Leverkusen, and that Havertz has already agreed to a five-year deal with the club.
Official talks started between Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen for Havertz.Chelsea want to complete the deal soon but would pay €80m fee only including add ons. Talks on to find an agreement. Personal terms agreed weeks ago. Kai is waiting. 🔵 #CFC📲➡️ https://t.co/1FuWqAasqT
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 27, 2020
It is understood that Chelsea have offered around €80 million ($94 million), but Leverkusen are thought to be holding out for more for their most lucrative talent.
Both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are known suitors for Havertz but are understood to not have pursued a deal for the German star due to restricted transfer funds which have been affected by the loss of income from having supporters inside stadiums, among other related reasons. This leaves Chelsea as the only club viably in the market for Havertz, a generational talent whose flair and guile would light up any team in world football.
Indeed, Havertz’ arrival may cause some upheaval at Stamford Bridge. He is capable of playing anywhere across the frontline or in midfield, positions Chelsea are already well-stocked in. It is hard to imagine how Havertz won’t reduce the minutes available to Chelsea’s academy stars like Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek but the truth is that Havertz’ potential to be legitimately one of the world’s best players means that Chelsea will be keen to pull the trigger if they can get this deal over the line.
Great job by Frank Lampard. Qualified for Champions League and in FA Cup final without spending any money. Werner and Ziyech will make Chelsea stronger next season. Just need Havertz, goalkeeper, left back and centre back now
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) July 26, 2020
After qualifying for Champions League: it can now go quickly with the deal of @ChelseaFC and @kaihavertz29. Leverkusen does not insist on participating of @kaihavertz29 in the Euro League. Now the negotations are getting hot
— Christian Falk (@cfbayern) July 26, 2020
I want people to also know that Ziyech, Werner and Havertz is literally just the beginning. Chelsea mean business this summer window and I’m so gassed for this man.
— Mod (@CFCMod_) July 26, 2020
Of course, several further issues remain at the club – most notably in the defence – and a move for Kai Havertz certainly won’t address them. Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga (who is the most expensive ‘keeper in the world, remember) has fallen out of favor under Lampard after a string of unimpressive performances. Chelsea have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak but this would set the club back somewhere north of $100 million.
Central defence and left-back are also in need of an upgrade but Lampard may well be content to kick that can down the road a little bit further if it means a generational talent like Havertz can be added to his squad. Lampard is known to like Leicester City fullback Ben Chilwell, but the Premier League club are likely to ask for a transfer fee in excess of $70 million.
Two less expensive recruits could well be the Ajax pair of Andre Onana and Nicolas Tagliafico who could be available for a fraction of the cost of Oblak and Chilwell.
Those issues can be addressed a little further into the window, however. The last time Chelsea secured a player of Havertz’ talent was when Eden Hazard indicated he would join Chelsea in 2012. He revolutionized the team and became one of the club’s all-time best recruits by the time his career in London ended.
Kai Havertz can do the same – but Chelsea will have to break the bank to make it possible.