Chelsea fans have called on Roman Abramovich to complete the club record transfer of German wunderkind Kai Havertz following his team’s European exit on Monday night – as a Dutch club jokingly claims to have secured his signature.
The 21-year-old Havertz has almost certainly played his last game for the club following Bayer Leverkusen’s 2-1 defeat to Inter Milan in the Europa League, with Abramovich set to break the bank to land one of European football’s most prized talents.
The Chelsea hierarchy, and in particular head coach Frank Lampard, have remained steadfastly tight-lipped about the prospective signing but some wily reporters asked Leverkusen boss Peter Bosz for an update on his team’s prized asset – and the reply was an unusual one.
“Yes, I can exclusively announce he’ll play for Heracles Almelo,” Bosz told the media, with his tongue firmly in his cheek and referring to the club he formerly managed.
Seizing on the moment, the Dutch side’s social media team wasted little time in producing an image to ‘welcome’ Havertz to their ranks.
Forgetting for a moment that Havertz’ transfer fee would likely cost more than Heracles’ entire combined first team squad, it seems inevitable that his transfer to Stamford Bridge will be completed in the coming days following Leverkusen’s European exit, but some fans seem to be growing weary of the relentless speculation.
Should the deal be completed, Havertz will join Chelsea’s updated ranks for next season. Fellow German Timo Werner has already been confirmed as a new capture, while Hakim Ziyech’s transfer from Ajax has also been completed.
Lampard has also been linked with big money purchases of Leicester City’s English international fullback Ben Chilwell, and West Ham’s Declan Rice as the team looks to shore up the leakiest defense of the Roman Abramovich era.
Given last summer’s transfer ban, and the lack of purchases when the suspension was lifted last January, this summer remains the first real opportunity for rookie boss Lampard to purchase players definitively for his own system and footballing philosophy – but with greater expectations, and the high profile purchases, one suspects that Lampard will have to find success soon lest he meet the fate the of those who met the managerial chopping block before him.