Chelsea are continuing talks with Bayer Leverkusen over a deal for Kai Havertz, though the two sides remain £18m apart in their valuation of the Germany international.
Havertz is regarded as one of the finest young talents in world football and has emerged as a key target for Chelsea in the summer transfer window, the west London outfit keen to utilise their financial strength and exploit a pandemic-affected market.
Leverkusen are holding out for a fee of around €100m (£90m) for their prized asset, a figure Frank Lampard’s side have so far been unwilling to meet, the Blues’ latest offer containing an initial fee of €65m (£58.5m) with a further €15m (£13.5m) in add-ons.
Havertz has informed the Bundesliga side of his desire to leave this summer following Leverkusen’s failure to qualify for next season’s Champions League, and the German side are prepared to sanction his sale and are keen to ensure the youngster’s future does not disrupt their preparations for the new season.
According to the Guardian, Chelsea have already agreed personal terms with the player on a five-year deal, with the fee for Havertz the final sticking point as the two sides bid to conclude a deal.
Chelsea’s rebuild under Lampard has accelerated this summer with the club in a financial position to capitalise on the limited spending of many of their rivals, their capture of Timo Werner coming after Premier League rivals Liverpool withdrew from the race to sign the RB Leipzig forward amid a lack of funds.
The situation with Havertz is similar and the club are desperate to conclude a deal, the German having been monitored by the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich in recent seasons, though neither side are prepared to meet his asking price in the current climate.
According to Bild, Leverkusen would like a deal done by August 28 – the date they return to pre-season – and it remains to be seen whether Chelsea increase their latest offer having spent significantly on attacking reinforcements despite their defensive woes.
Lampard’s side conceded more goals than any other side in the Premier League’s top half last season and have been linked with new additions at centre-back and left-back, though funds may need to be raised through player sales with the likes of Emerson Palmieri, Michy Batshuayi and Danny Drinkwater amongst the players surplus to requirements.