Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Kai Havertz after he was absent from Bayer Leverkusen’s performance test training on Sunday. Despite turning up for the club’s coronavirus testing on Friday and Saturday ahead of his involvement with the Germany national team next week, he was absent from the following day’s fitness tests ahead of a prospective £90million move to Stamford Bridge, per BILD.
A deal is understood to be close between Chelsea and Leverkusen worth an initial £72m rising to a club-record £90m fee which will take the Blues’ summer expenditure north of £200m.
Havertz will become Chelsea’s sixth addition after Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva, with the latter two both joining on free transfers.
It has also been suggested that the 21-year-old has agreed terms on a five-year deal once he moves to west London, though Leverkusen chief Rudi Voller earlier this week labelled such claims as “nonsense”.
But Frank Lampard has now moved a significant step closer to signing Havertz, it appears, after the player’s absence from the Leverkusen training base on Sunday, which could suggest he is headed to London for a medical before he joins up with his international team-mates.
Die Mannschaft’s first match is on Thursday, with a Nations League showdown against Spain followed up by a tie against Switzerland on Sunday.
BILD’s Christian Falk tweeted: “Our Story: Transfer is getting closer! Kai Havertz did not take part of the performance test today of @bayer04fussball. (he completed the Corona tests on Friday and Saturday because he needs them for the national team) @ChelseaFC @PippoArens @BILD_Sport #LONDONCALLING.”
According to German transfer expert Jan Aage Fjortoft, Leverkusen have deliberately held up a deal this week as they seek to sign a replacement in advance of the huge cash influx of Havertz’s sale.
He tweeted: “Lot of you ask when the two clubs will confirm the deal. I think it could be next week.
“As Leverkusen are working to get Patrik Schick from Roma (on loan in Leipzig this season) as replacement. That could happen next week. Understand this the reason for the delay.”
Signing the German will be a significant coup for Chelsea as they look to hunt down Liverpool and Manchester City at the summit of the Premier League.
The forward, who can play as a No 10, out wide or as a centre-forward, has lit up the Bundesliga in recent seasons despite his tender years.
Last term he produced 18 goals and nine assists in 45 games across all competitions, including 12 league strikes and six assists.
While the campaign before that saw him muster 20 goals and seven assists, including 17 Bundesliga goals on top of four assists.
Such productivity, on top of his general performance levels, had attracted the attention of numerous clubs across Europe including Real Madrid and Barcelona.
But Chelsea have no rivals for Havertz’s signature this summer and are set to take advance of the financial struggles of other clubs to make another big-name addition.
Discussing Chelsea’s summer business after a 1-1 pre-season friendly draw with Brighton on Saturday, Lampard said: “We have an idea to try to add to improve, as you should do at a club of our level.
“And we know that has not been absolutely possible for us, and we knew the ban and all this talk, and it was important for me to try to improve the squad.
“And with the players that we are bringing in, it feels that way, but we need to be careful of getting too far ahead of ourselves because we need to give time to players to come in and adapt, to the way I want us to play and to their team-mates.
“But I think the moves we are making our positive, so I am excited and then it is up to us to get our heads down and work very hard.”
Chelsea’s next match will see them take on the Seagulls again, this time in their Premier League curtain-raiser on Monday September 14 (8pm kick-off).
Lampard’s new-look face will then face a stringent test the following week when they welcome champions Liverpool to Stamford Bridge on Sunday September 20, having lost to the Reds home and away last term, as well as in the UEFA Super Cup.
They did however get the better of Jurgen Klopp’s charges in the FA Cup fifth round on home soil back in March.
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