Bayern Munich had Germany international and Chelsea FC star Kai Havertz in its sights at the start of the summer transfer window, according to Sport1’s Kerry Hau, with a view to replacing Robert Lewandowski as the nine.
Hau reveals on the Sport1 podcast Die Bayern-Woche that Sadio Mané was not the only player represented by ROOF about whom Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidic inquired.
“We have heard that Bayern would have preferred to place Lewandowski with Chelsea in order to bring Havertz to Munich,” Hau added.
Things panned out differently in the end, of course. Lewandowski wanted only La Liga and FC Barcelona, while it was two other ROOF agency players — Sadio Mané and Serge Gnabry — who signed new Bayern contracts this summer. Mané, the new addition to the forward line, arrived on a far more manageable transfer fee than Havertz would have commanded.
But Hau reports that the Bayern sporting director enjoys a “good relationship” with ROOF and consequently expects Bayern’s monitoring of Havertz, still only 23 years of age, to continue.
Havertz’s contract at Chelsea is through 2025, and Hau reports it would take a high-profile exit from Bayern now to facilitate a future move. But additionally, Christopher Nkunku and João Félix are would-be candidates.
Havertz is one of the jewels of the rising generation of German stars. With head coach Julian Nagelsmann’s penchant for playing through the half-spaces, there may well often be room for a smooth, elegant creator with a cultured left foot — who can also lead the forward line with his height, pace, and physical presence.
Havertz’s profile as a nine can use more refinement, to be sure. Recall last summer’s EURO game between Germany and Portugal, when Havertz started to drop to show for a pass as Thomas Müller gestured wildly at him to make a run into the box. That passage of play ultimately resulted in a goal and some continued coaching from the Raumdeuter amid the celebrations afterward.
But he has indeed been used as a nine, a true center-forward, at Chelsea. And in Nagelsmann’s new-age front two, he might even prove a better fit than in Thomas Tuchel’s system, which seems ever to be in want of a more classical single nine to be the primary goal threat.
Bayern does look settled for this season, and Chelsea — despite letting Timo Werner and Romelu Lukaku go for pennies on the dollar after spending a fortune on both within about one calendar year — aren’t stupid enough to lose one of their finest assets. But storm clouds are gathering over the Blues, as well as their head coach. It’s been a long time since Havertz fired home a Champions League-winning goal, and Chelsea no longer seems a lock for the Top Four, much less a title contender.
It’s telling, too, that Havertz has admirers on the Bayern board. This summer has already shown that persistence can pay off, via center-back Matthijs de Ligt’s eventual arrival in Munich after his earlier move to Juventus from AFC Ajax.