Bayer Leverkusen have rejected an £71.2 million bid from Real Madrid for Manchester United target Kai Havertz, according to reports from Germany and Spain.
Bild via as.com claims that Los Blancos were even prepared to let the player stay at Leverkusen for another season as part of the deal, but that they were turned down flat by the German side.
The 20-year-old has been one of the stand out stars of the Bundesliga this season, having scored 15 goals and registering eight assists in 38 games across all competitions.
The attacking midfielder has been on Manchester United’s radar for some time. Enquiries were reportedly made last summer, but the club was told he was not for sale.
It is understood that a sale is now possible as Havertz enters the last two years of his contract, but Leverkusen are adamant that they will not drop below their €100 million (£89m) valuation, regardless of the financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.
Bayern Munich were seen to be the most likely destination but the player himself has admitted ‘I am ready to take a big step and I like challenges. For me, this also includes abroad.’
Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have also been linked with the playmaker and The Sun earlier this week claimed United were about to make the first move, and were readying a paltry £50 million offer.
Now it would seem that los Blancos have decided to steal a march on their competitors.
‘Real Madrid are continuing to push to get the services of Kai Havertz, one of the most sought-after pearls on the market, and have already made an offer for the 20-year-old German international’, AS reports.
‘The club came to offer 80 million euros to Bayer Leverkusen, a club at which Havertz has a contract until 2022, with the aim of letting him stay one more year [in Germany] to continue evolving and finally incorporating him in the summer of 2021 into Madrid’s ranks.
‘Leverkusen have rejected that first offer for a player that they will not let go for less than a hundred million euros.
‘This has been underscored by those responsible for the club on many occasions, who are aware that Real Madrid are not the only club that has entered and will enter the bidding for the midfielder.
‘Bayern [Munich] are also after him, but it is clear that the Bundesliga champions would prefer to wait until next year for financial reasons. Their priority is [Manchester] City’s Sané.’
‘What does seem clear is that the player wants to decide his future this year. He does not rule out continuing another year at Leverkusen, however, as long as it is as part of an operation that clarifies his situation next summer.’
Whilst The Sun’s claim of a United bid seemed far-fetched, Bild’s report today that Real have offered £71.2 million seems equally unlikely.
It has also been widely reported that los Merengues’ Pogba-loving head coach Zinedine Zidane has been told he must sell before he can buy this summer due to the financial crisis.
If Real have really made this bid then they have either suddenly changed their priorities significantly or have been playing their cards very close to their chest, as Havertz did not seem to be a top priority for a summer transfer.
As for the Red Devils interest in the player, it also seems unlikely that the board would sanction two transfers of approaching £100 million each in one transfer window, even at the best of times. So unless United themselves have shifted their priorities away from Jadon Sancho, competing for Havertz’s signature would only seem to be possible if, for example, Paul Pogba were to be sold first.
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