Bayer Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has insisted there will be no “corona discount” given to Chelsea in negotiations over Kai Havertz.
The 21-year-old has undergone a meteoric rise over the past two seasons to not only fight his way into the senior German national team, but also to become one of the most highly sought after players in Europe right now.
Will Chelsea pay up for Havertz? Five things to know…
- Havertz has notched 29 goals and nine assists across the last two Bundesliga seasons combined.
- His form for Leverkusen has seen the playmaker earn seven senior caps for Germany.
- Chelsea have been linked with Havertz’s signature and have reportedly offered €80m for his signature.
- But that is still €20m below Leverkusen’s asking price.
- Voller insists Leverkusen will not budge on their valuation of Havertz despite the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Having already signed fellow German forward Timo Werner from RB Leipzig — as well as Hakim Ziyech from Ajax — Chelsea have been most heavily linked with Havertz’s signature but reports suggest the Blues’ most recent offer of €80m was still €20m short of Leverkusen’s asking price.
Voller has admitted the club would still like to keep Havertz but even if they must resign themselves to losing him, Die Werkself will not be budging on their valuation, despite the current testing economic climate.
“There is nothing new in this regard, and we are still very relaxed about it,” Voller told Sport Buzzer when asked about Havertz’s future.
“Of course, we would be very happy if he stayed for another year. It is clear that the departure of such a player, despite the high transfer fee, always means a loss – see Leipzig and [Timo] Werner.”
He added: “In times of corona, it may actually be that the transfer fees have decreased for many players.
“But corona or no corona, this is not the case with exceptional players like Havertz or Jadon Sancho. There is no corona discount for them.
“What makes Kai Havertz so interesting is the fact that he embodies world-class in four or five positions.”
Where would Havertz fit in at Chelsea?
With Werner and Ziyech already joining the likes of Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham, Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek among Chelsea’s creative and forward options, Havertz might well have his work cut out to cement his place in Frank Lampard’s starting XI.
Havertz enjoyed the majority of his minutes in the Bundesliga last season playing in the No.10 position and that is where he is most likely to line up for the Blues.
Flanked either side by N’Golo Kante and Jorginho — who would both protect defensively and progress the ball forward from the centre-backs — Havertz could push up in support of a potential forward line of Pulisic, Werner and Ziyech. The German is brilliant at making late runs into the box and found a lot of joy in the final third that way last season, while he is about as effective as you’ll find when it comes to unlocking the opposition defence with through-balls or chips over the top for pacey forwards.
What is most exciting about this line-up, though, is its flexibility. Aside from playing in the creative hole, Havertz was also regularly deployed as a false nine and on the right flank last season and is more than adept at playing in those positions. The same can be said for the rest of the forward line in this XI, meaning Lampard will have a quick, creative and unpredictable strike force at his disposal, which is tactically flexible and able to make in-game changes to respond to the opposition.