BAYER Leverkusen attacking midfielder Kai Havertz is set to sign for Chelsea in a deal worth about £71m, including add-ons.
The 21-year-old Germany international has been given permission to leave the national squad’s training camp and will travel to London before having a medical.
Havertz will become Frank Lampard’s sixth major signing of the summer.
The deal is expected to be completed within 24 hours.
Goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga remains Chelsea’s record signing when he joined from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 for a £71m fee.
Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller said he was “grateful to the national coach that Kai can now sort things out with our support on site in London”.
Havertz, who has seven caps, was an unused substitute in Germany’s 1-1 Nations League draw with Spain on Thursday, with the German team set to face Switzerland on Sunday.
Last week, the Bundesliga side’s head coach Peter Bosz said he “doesn’t expect Havertz to train with us again”.
Last season Havertz scored 18 goals in 45 appearances for Leverkusen, including seven in nine games after the Bundesliga season restarted.
Chelsea look to Mendy
Chelsea are interested in signing Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy to increase competition with Kepa Arrizabalaga.
They have already had one bid rejected by the French club for the 28-year-old from Senegal.
It is understood the interest in Mendy is not in order to replace record £71m signing Kepa, who was dropped by Lampard last season.
But with second-choice keeper Willy Caballero turning 39 later this month, the club wants a younger challenger to their number-one choice.
Reports suggest that Rennes want more than £30m for Mendy.
Kepa cost Chelsea a world-record fee for a goalkeeper in August 2018.
Last season, however, he was replaced by Caballero on several occasions after high-profile errors in games.
Having been unable to sign players last summer because of a transfer ban, Chelsea have certainly made up for lost time.
They have already brought in former Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech, former RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner and Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell for significant fees, plus defenders Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr on free transfers.
Havertz’s signing takes Chelsea’s summer spending to almost £200m.
That will mean more is expected of manager Frank Lampard, whose team finished fourth in the Premier League last campaign in his first season and were FA Cup runners-up.
There will also be questions about how much playing time some of Chelsea’s academy graduates get, having made their breakthroughs last season when the transfer ban was still in force.
– Sept. 4, 2020 @ 18:23 GMT /