Transfer Talk: Blues Hav a job shifting Kai after Real cool interest
While Kai Havertz's days at Chelsea look to be numbered, a switch to Real Madrid appears equally unlikely.
The German forward was reportedly being targeted by the Spanish giants but Los Blancos have been put off by the Blues' £75million asking price.
While it remains to be seen whether another club will stump up that substantial asking price, we turn the spotlight on the wantaway star.
Havertz, 23, will always hold a special place in the hearts of Chelsea supporters for his winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final.
But his overall contribution at Stamford Bridge has largely disappointed since his switch from Bayer Leverkusen in September 2020.
Although Havertz's ability has never been in question, he has not been able to deliver on a regular basis.
A record of 32 goals in 139 appearances would be impressive had he regularly been handed an attacking midfield role during his time in West London.
But given many of those outings saw him deployed as Chelsea's No9, his failure to score more than eight Premier League goals in any of his three seasons with the Blues leaves more questions than answers.
A disastrous 2022-23 campaign saw Chelsea score just 38 goals as they finished 12th and Havertz — who managed seven of those — was one of the main culprits for the team's toothlessness up front.
A fresh start
Incoming boss Mauricio Pochettino has a huge rebuild of Chelsea's bloated squad waiting for him this summer.
Given his record compared to a number of the club's other attackers, there is reason to suggest the Argentine might see potential in Havertz.
But with Chelsea's No29 reportedly keen for a new challenge, Todd Boehly and Co may decide to move him on to raise funds.
Deal or no deal?
As it stands, Havertz appears likely to follow the likes of Mason Mount, Matteo Kovacic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek out the door.
But that does not mean Chelsea will part with him on the cheap — not when he still has two years left on his deal.
Add that to the financial fair play restrictions the club are currently grappling with and they are likely to demand at least the majority, if not all, of the initial £71m they are believed to have paid for him.
LaLiga giants Real, who were keen on Havertz before he signed for the Blues, have seemingly already decided he is too expensive.
But the talented ace is unlikely to be short of other suitors, with fellow European giants Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain reportedly keeping tabs.
Neither are likely to be short of cash to spend and a switch to Bayern — managed by former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel — may appeal.
The Bavarians' pursuit of Tottenham striker Harry Kane is well documented but it is unclear whether they see Havertz as a team-mate or an alternative to the England captain.
At the same time, it is highly unlikely he would reject a switch to the French capital.
The Parisians are looking for new options alongside main man Kylian Mbappe, with Lionel Messi leaving and Neymar set to follow him.
Wherever Havertz plays his football next season, it seems a support role, rather than as a team's talisman, could be key to unlocking his potential.
But with Chelsea desperate for a decent return on their investment, shifting Havertz may be one the more difficult tasks on their to-do list.