Bayer Leverkusen forward Kai Havertz is keeping his options open, and would not rule out joining a side who are not in the Champions League.
The 21-year-old has asked to leave Leverkusen this summer after they failed to qualify for the Champions League, and it was suggested that he would only consider moving to a side who were already set to play in Europe’s top competition.
According to BBC Sport though, that’s not the case. While Havertz obviously would prefer Champions League football, he is understood to prioritise the bigger picture and wants to join a club with the right long-term strategy.
That is music to Chelsea fans’ ears. The Blues have a three-year plan to get back to the top and have already used that to lure Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge, now they can be confident of having the chance to sign Havertz regardless of how this season ends.
Frank Lampard’s side currently sit third but were lucky not to end the weekend in fifth. Their abysmal 3-0 loss to Sheffield United put them on the back foot, but Leicester’s capitulation against Bournemouth and Manchester United’s failure to beat Southampton left the Blues in the ascendancy.
Chelsea are just one point clear of both Leicester and United, but could stretch that gap to four points if they can emerge victorious against the already-relegated Norwich City on Tuesday evening.
Their destiny is still in their hands, but with upcoming fixtures against Liverpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers to look forward to, Chelsea will know that they simply cannot afford another slip-up if they want to play in the Champions League again next season.
Fortunately, it appears as though their European fate will not impact their pursuit of Havertz. Chelsea officials are thought to be confident that they will get a deal over the line sooner or later, and if Champions League football isn’t that important, the Blues can focus on convincing Havertz that there is an appealing project on offer at Stamford Bridge.
There is still interest from Real Madrid to fight off, while Bayern Munich have publicly spoken of their desire to sign the German in 2021, but both sides’ respective financial struggles have handed Chelsea the advantage.
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