Chelsea's Kai Havertz dilemma: Reduce £70m asking price or risk contract running down

Kai Havertz before Chelsea's game at Old Trafford - Chelsea's Kai Havertz dilemma: Reduce £70m asking price or risk contract running down - AFP/Getty Images
Kai Havertz before Chelsea's game at Old Trafford - Chelsea's Kai Havertz dilemma: Reduce £70m asking price or risk contract running down - AFP/Getty Images

Chelsea are facing a dilemma over the future of Kai Havertz after setting what the clubs interested in signing him believe is an unrealistic asking price for the forward.

Havertz has attracted interest from Real Madrid and at least two other clubs, with Arsenal thought to be monitoring developments, but their asking price, which is believed to be around £70 million, has so far put off potential bidders.

Given the fact Havertz still has two years on his contract and is a German international and Champions League winner, having scored the winner in the 2021 final, Chelsea believe their valuation reflects the market rate.

But Havertz has not indicated a desire to extend his Chelsea contract yet and is thought to be interested in a move away from Stamford Bridge, particularly to Real, which clubs believe will drive down his price.

Clubs are also acutely aware of Chelsea’s need and desire to sell players this summer, which means Chelsea must decide whether or not to lower their asking price for Havertz or risk him running down his contract.

Havertz will not be forced to join a club offering the biggest transfer fee if he prefers to move elsewhere, which presents another issue for Chelsea.

Chelsea ideally want to extend the contracts or sell any players with two or less years remaining on their existing deals to avoid the threat of losing players on free transfers or having to negotiate sales with only 12 months remaining on contracts, as is the case with Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic this summer.

It is unlikely that Real or any other club that he would be interested in joining will pay more than £50 million for Havertz this summer, which will leave Chelsea with a big decision to make.

Having dropped their interest in Manuel Ugarte, who is joining Paris St-Germain, Chelsea want to sign midfielder Moises Caicedo from Brighton but will face significant competition from rival clubs.

Brighton want more than £70 million for Caicedo and are keen on striking a deal that would include them signing defender Levi Colwill, who Chelsea have insisted is not for sale.

Chelsea are also waiting to hear whether or not AC Milan will go ahead with the signing of midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

Loftus-Cheek had been poised to complete a move to AC Milan worth around £15 million, but the Italian club have sacked technical director Paolo Maldini and sporting director Frederic Massara, who had negotiated the deal.

Chelsea and Loftus-Cheek are now waiting to find out whether or not the deal will be completed, or whether the move has stalled.