Kai Havertz, unsurprisingly, wants to play in the Champions League. As one of Europe’s best young players, the 21-year-old feels that he should be at a team that is part of the continent’s premier club competition.
It is one of the big reasons he wants to leave Bayer Leverkusen, who failed to finish in the Bundesliga’s top four, and while Chelsea’s interest in bringing him to Stamford Bridge is clear they may struggle to persuade him if Frank Lampard’s team fall short of qualifying.
By the end of today Chelsea could be in fifth position, a spot that may end up being good enough depending on the result of Manchester City’s Court of Arbitration for Sport appeal over their European ban tomorrow, but it looks like a deal for the 21-year-old hinges on Chelsea’s qualification.
If Chelsea were to be in next season’s Europa League there would likely be consequences for other transfer targets too, with many players reluctant to make a step down if already at Champions League sides.
While the Blues will likely get back to winning ways at home to already-relegated Norwich City on Tuesday evening, they must then travel to champions Liverpool and host Wolves on the final day, a side with European ambitions of their own.
A failure to qualify for the Champions League would also be a blow for new signings Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, both playing impressive roles in the competition this season for RB Leipzig and Ajax.
Havertz is expected to cost about £90million, roughly the equivalent of Werner and Ziyech’s fees combined, but Chelsea are also keen on strengthening in defence during the off-season.