Leverkusen warn Chelsea: ‘Pay what we want or Havertz will stay here’

Bayer Leverkusen have warned Chelsea in their pursuit of midfielder Kai Havertz. Sporting director Rudi Voller has insisted again that the Germans aren’t forced to sell the talented midfielder for anything under their own valuation. Leverkusen are demanding a fee in the region of €100m for Havertz, who is reportedly keen on joining Chelsea next season.

Asked by Gazetta Dello Sport if a deal for Havertz has been agreed, Voller reacted: “No, but with his talent, it means he’s on the list of all the best clubs. 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.”

The former German World Champion also insisted that Havertz will be finishing the Europa League season with Leverkusen. “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.”

Voller is in awe of Havertz’ potential. “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. 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.”