Chelsea have been warned that there is no room for negotiation over Kai Havertz, they must meet Bayer Leverkusen’s asking price of £90m or forget about a deal.
The Blues have been heavily linked with a move for the 21-year-old and their interest has been openly talked about by his current club.
The Germany international has become one of the most exciting talents in Europe and Chelsea are willing to spend big on him, despite already bringing in Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner this summer, while they are also linked with big-money moves for a centre-back and a goalkeeper.
However, they have baulked at Leverkusen’s £90m valuation of Havertz and have been trying to negotiate the price down closer to the £70m mark.
Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has made it clear that there will be no haggling over price and that if Chelsea meet their valuation, great, otherwise there will be no transfer.
‘No, but with his talent, it means he’s on the list of all the best clubs,’ Voller told Gazzetta dello Sport on whether a deal to sell Havertz has been done.
‘We know of the interest of a couple of clubs, especially Chelsea, but for us, the situation is quite simple; he has a two-year contract, if anyone wants him on our terms, fine, otherwise he stays here another year and we are happy.
‘It won’t be easy, but for an artist like him there is no Covid discount.’
Voller, who played for, managed and is now sporting director of the club, feels Havertz is the best player he has ever seen in a Leverkusen shirt, which is why he is so steadfast on the valuation.
‘For me, he’s the best I’ve seen at Leverkusen, and I’ve been here for a lifetime. We had Emerson, [Michael] Ballack, Ze Roberto, [Toni] Kroos, but he’s on top,’ said Voller.
‘He is very young, he can play five or six roles, he has been here for 10 years. When he was 17, I asked the first-team coach to let him train with the greats during the national team break.
‘After three days Roger Schmidt never made him return to the youth team. He has talent with the ball at his feet, he is a mix between Ballack and [Mesut] Ozil, but he takes the best bits from both of them.’
Even if a deal can be done with Chelsea, or another suitor, Voller expects Havertz to complete his commitment to the club and finish off their Europa League campaign, with the Germans into the quarter-finals after seeing off Rangers.
‘Of course he will play [in the Europa League quarter-final], also because he wants to,’ he said. ‘I am a bit old-fashioned: for me a season is over when it all ends.
‘Nobody leaves first. Now, with Covid-19, there have been transfers before the end of the season, but not from us.’