LONDON: Kai Havertz’s move to Chelsea has lifted the summer spending of the west London club to more than £220m.
An initial bid of £59m plus £13m in add-ons was rejected in July but Chelsea returned with a deal that will surpass the club record £71.6m paid for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in 2018.
Leverkusen will receive £75m up front plus another £9m, with a further £9m if a number of complicated clauses are met. These would include Havertz and Chelsea winning the Champions League in the five years of his initial, agreed contract.
The total would confirm the 21-year-old as a British record signing, surpassing the £89m which Manchester United paid Juventus for Paul Pogba in 2016.
Havertz is manager Frank Lampard’s sixth summer signing after the arrivals of Germany team-mate Timo Werner for £47.5m, Morocco winner Hakim Ziyech for £37m, England leftback Ben Chilwell for £50m and defenders Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr on free transfers.
Owner Roman Abramovich, having reopened the cheque book after a cashless last season, will expect to see all the new signings starting in the Premier League campaign which opens for Chelsea at Brighton on Monday, September 14.
The happy challenge for Lampard is finding a place for a plethora of midfield and attacking players and keeping them all happy. Fans may also worry that Chelsea should have spent less money in attack and more money on defence.
Last season Chelsea conceded 54 goals which was more than any of the other clubs in the top nine and far worse than Liverpool (33), Manchester City (35) and Manchester United (36) who will be their comparative rivals in pursuit of the Premier title.