United join the blues in race of the wonder kid
Chelsea have reportedly joined Manchester United in the battle for Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz but everything might not be as it seems as the Premier League giants prepare to go head-to-head this summer.
Contrasting reports leave an air of uncertainty about whether Frank Lampard’s side are actually preparing a move for Havertz.
The 20-year-old will cost £70million but his versatility would be a major boost for the Blues.
Chelsea have already triggered RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner’s £53m release clause and captured Ajax ace Hakim Ziyech.
Havertz would be a great addition to their ranks but given Chelsea’s other deals were kept under the radar there is suspicion over why this interest has come to light.
One possibility could be that the Blues want to use Havertz to divert other clubs’ attention from their main target.
It is thought Lampard had placed Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho top of his wishlist.
However, the 20-year-old England international favours a move to United, despite being a boyhood Chelsea fan.
The Red Devils are trying to convince Dortmund to lower their £100m valuation as Ed Woodward has refused to pay that amount given the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea’s interest in Havertz could be a ploy to take United’s focus from Sancho onto the cheaper option of the Leverkusen star.
All the while Lampard may be plotting another surprise coup – this time for Sancho.
The Blues will have to be very astute to steal the attacker from under the nose of their Manchester rivals but they certainly have the funds to do so having not spent any money during their two-window transfer ban.
England manager Gareth Southgate has hinted Sancho could be returning to the Premier League this summer, three years after he left Manchester City.
“He’s a very talented young player, that’s clear,” Southgate told The Football Show.
“The Bundesliga has a huge profile at the moment because it’s the only football being played that we’re able to watch, it’s no surprise to us that.
“I think it’s clear Bayern Munich are the best team in the league. You’ve then got Leipzig and Dortmund who perform well but the gap as you work down the league is an interesting one to compare to the Premier League.
“The level is not quite the same. I think the top teams, the matches at Champions League, when the English teams have played the top German teams have been a good challenge.
“The depth of the league isn’t the same, the finances of the league aren’t the same. Our smallest teams can compete with some historical big hitters like Ajax. Our smallest teams have been able to compete and sign players for higher value than those clubs.
“Any step is going to be a big challenge but he’s developing really well when you look at his age, what his contribution is, he’s learning the game, he’s maturing.
“He’s got some fantastic role models in Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford to look at. Not just in how they play but their professionalism, their hunger, they’re brilliant role models for Jadon to be working with with us.”
If United do not act quickly to secure Sancho, they may pay the ultimate price and miss out altogether.