Chelsea’s pursuit of Kai Havertz has edged closer following a ‘productive meeting’ between the west London side and Bayer Leverkusen.
Havertz has emerged as a leading target for Chelsea in the transfer window after informing Leverkusen of his desire to leave the club this summer, the Bundesliga side having missed out on Champions League qualification after finishing fifth in Germany’s top tier.
The highly-rated midfielder is regarded as one of the best young players in world football and has been monitored by the likes of Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in recent months, though neither are prepared to pay the 21-year-old’s asking price in the current financial climate.
That situation has allowed Chelsea to emerge as frontrunners for Havertz and the club have been in negotiations with Leverkusen over a deal for a player the German outfit value at around €100m.
Frank Lampard’s side have seen an initial offer of €65m plus an additional €15m in add-ons rejected, as Leverkusen hold out for a record-breaking €100m fee, though the Guardian report that a deal has now moved closer after ‘productive’ talks between the two sides on Wednesday.
Chelsea have reportedly moved closer to Leverkusen’s valuation by including a number of ‘lucrative’ bonuses and add-ons to further ‘sweeten the deal’, as Lampard bids to make one of Europe’s most promising talents his third major signing of the summer transfer window.
Chelsea – in a strong financial position despite the financial impact coronavirus pandemic – have been able to capitalise on the restrictions of their rivals in the market, securing deals for Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech and RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner – the latter having been tipped to join Liverpool before the Premier League champions were forced to withdraw their interest amid a lack of funds.
Roman Abramovich’s backing of Lampard has accelerated the club’s rebuild as they bid to close the gap on the division’s best sides, the potential arrival of Havertz the latest piece in an exciting jigsaw at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are also monitoring several defensive targets as they bid to solidify a backline that was the worst in the top half of the Premier League‘s last season, the Blues having been linked with moves for West Ham’s Declan Rice, Leicester’s Ben Chilwell and Brighton’s Ben White.