Bayer Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Voller has given Chelsea a transfer ultimatum in their pursuit of Kai Havertz.
The Blues were reportedly hoping to land Havertz for around £70million but Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz insists his prize asset will not be sold for less than £90million.
Chelsea have already spent £84million to bring Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge, and Voller has now reiterated his manager’s insistence that they will have to fork out a club-record fee to sign the German playmaker.
Asked if Leverkusen have already agreed to sell Havertz, the 60-year-old told Gazzetta dello Sport: “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.”
Voller also insisted Havertz will remain with Leverkusen until the end of their Europa League campaign, with their quarter-final against Inter to take place on Monday.
“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 added on Havertz’s talent: “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.”