Kai Havertz has no "COVID discount" and Chelsea must meet Bayer Leverkusen's valuation or miss out on a deal, Rudi Voller has warned.

Germany international Havertz is reportedly keen on a switch to the Blues, who have long been linked with a move for the 21-year-old.

Havertz is said to be in favour of a move to Stamford Bridge but the two clubs still seemingly have work to do to strike a deal.

Leverkusen are claimed to want £90million for Havertz, with Chelsea thought to be interested in a structured deal that starts at around £70m.

But sporting director Voller said simply any club wanting to buy Havertz must pay the asking price otherwise he will stay at the BayArena for another year.

Asked if Leverkusen have agreed to sell Havertz, Voller told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "No, but with his talent, it means he's on the list of all the best clubs.

"We know of the interest of a couple of clubs, especially Chelsea, but for us, the situation is quite simple: he has a two-year contract, if anyone wants him on our terms, fine, otherwise he stays here another year and we are happy.

"It won't be easy, but for an artist like him there is no COVID discount."

In Voller's opinion, Havertz is on course to be better than some illustrious Leverkusen alumni.

"For me, he's the best I've seen at Leverkusen, and I've been here for a lifetime. We had Emerson, [Michael] Ballack, Ze Roberto, [Toni] Kroos, but he's on top," Voller added.

Former Germany star Voller said Havertz reminds him of Ballack and Mesut Ozil, adding: "He takes the best bits from both of them."

Voller also has no doubt Havertz will continue to represent Leverkusen for the completion of their Europa League campaign, with a quarter-final tie against Inter next up.

Timo Werner opted not to play for RB Leipzig in the remainder of the Champions League after agreeing to join Chelsea, but Havertz did feature for Leverkusen in the second leg of their last-16 tie against Rangers and Voller is sure he will do so as long as the team are in the competition.

"Of course he will play [in the Europa League quarter-final], also because he wants to," Voller said. "I am a bit old-fashioned: for me a season is over when it all ends.

"Nobody leaves first. Now, with COVID-19, there have been transfers before the end of the season, but not from us."

Paris Saint-Germain are focused on Kylian Mbappe and Neymar over Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mbappe and Neymar have both been linked with moves away from the Ligue 1 champions, while Ronaldo has reportedly been a target for PSG previously.

PSG seemingly know where their priorities are.

 

TOP STORY – PSG FOCUS ON MBAPPE, NEYMAR OVER RONALDO

PSG would prefer to extend the contracts of Mbappe and Neymar than chase Juventus star Ronaldo, according to ESPN.

Mbappe and Neymar are both coming to the end of their contracts in 2022 and have been linked to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively.

 

ROUND-UP

- Arsenal are reportedly ready to splash the cash. The Sun says the Premier League side are set to spend £100million on Real Madrid's Dani Ceballos, Atletico Madrid's Thomas Partey and Lille's Gabriel Magalhaes, but must sell at least three players.

- With Eric Garcia set to leave Manchester City, Barcelona are preparing a move. The Sun reports Barca will make a €15.5m (£14m) bid for the defender.

- Will Chelsea find a way to land West Ham star Declan Rice? The Daily Star says Chelsea are looking to raise £65m to land the midfielder.

- Liverpool continue to be linked with moves. The Liverpool Echo reports Watford attacker Ismaila Sarr is on the Premier League champions' shortlist.

- Staying at Anfield and Yahoo reports Liverpool are tracking Vasco da Gama's 18-year-old forward Talles Magno.

- Ryan Sessegnon continues to be linked with a move from Tottenham. The Guardian reports Ajax are interested in Sessegnon on loan.

Rafael van der Vaart hopes Harry Kane remains at Tottenham, allowing the England international to continue working with a "great coach" in Jose Mourinho.

The striker returned from a hamstring injury suffered at the start of 2020 to help Spurs finish in sixth place in the Premier League, securing the north London club a spot in next season's Europa League as a result.

Kane, 27, scored five goals in his final three outings to finish the campaign with 24 in all competitions, though he had sparked speculation over his future earlier in the year when admitting he would not stay at his boyhood club "for the sake of it".

However, Van der Vaart - who spent two years with Spurs - believes Kane does not have to leave in his pursuit to win trophies.

"I really hope that he's going to stay," Van der Vaart - an ambassador for the UEFA Europa League Trophy Tour - told Stats Perform News.

"I hope he's going to stay. Spurs have a great coach.

"It's a club that want to be a championship winner, and the Champions League. They can also pay the money.

"For me, the best thing is for Harry to stay."

While Van der Vaart wants Kane to continue in familiar surroundings, he is delighted to see a famous former Netherlands team-mate return to his roots.

Former Bayern Munich star Arjen Robben announced in July his decision to come out of retirement and sign a deal with Groningen – the club where the winger started his illustrious career.

"It's great. I really love it, because I think it's important for the Dutch league," Van der Vaart said of Robben's return.

"Robben is a great guy. He is so professional. He is still so fit. I always thought, 'Why did he stop?', because football is the best thing you can do.

"He stopped at Bayern Munich, but now it's so important that he's starting again and to go back home, to his former club.

"It's going to be different. He's always played for teams when, 80 per cent of the time, they were better than the opponent, but now you go to Groningen and maybe it's 50-50. That is a different way of playing."

Van der Vaart was speaking as part of this year's Europa League Trophy Tour, which has been collecting football boots from fans for Syrian refugees based in Jordan.

Manuel Neuer hopes Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara can be persuaded to stay at Bayern Munich, describing him as "our engine in midfield".

On the eve of the Champions League last-16 second leg against Chelsea, captain and goalkeeper Neuer stressed how important the former Barcelona player has become over seven years at Bayern.

Thiago has one year left on his Bayern contract and the club would be reluctant to see him leave on a free transfer in 2021.

One alternative to that prospect would be cashing in on him now, with Premier League champions Liverpool apparently keen on taking him to Anfield.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has praised Thiago, describing him as "a great player", but has declined to speak any further about the Spaniard.

Asked about the influence of Thiago, and the possibility of him being in his final days as a Bayern player, Neuer stressed he hoped the Chelsea game was not the beginning of the end for the 29-year-old in Munich.

"I hope that it won't be one of the last matches of Thiago," Neuer said.

"He had to undergo surgery at the end of the season but now he's back and 100 per cent. He's a very valuable player for us, especially in ball possession. He's very important for us. He's our engine in midfield actually."

Bayern lead Chelsea 3-0 from the first leg of their European tie, so with home advantage on Saturday they should have little trouble making sure of a quarter-final place.

Lisbon will stage the Champions League from the last eight onwards.

Neuer says Bayern are eager to complete a treble, having already won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal in Germany this season.

"We have played a good season and a successful season so far," he said. "We're still hungry and still committed. We have the objective right in front of us.

"We won the league, we won the cup, and now we want to win to achieve this next objective that we have.

"First we have to overcome Chelsea and then it's the knockout stage. They are very high calibre clubs in this competition. We know from our experiences with the national team, for example, that every mistake could cost a lot and you have to really pay attention.

"We've worked together very well for three and a half weeks and we want to achieve a lot."

From the quarter-final stage onwards, it will be a straight knockout event, with two-leg games abandoned to allow the tournament to be completed in the shortest possible time.

"You can achieve a lot, but of course you can also lose a lot in such a format," Neuer said.

Sergio Busquets hopes Barcelona and Arthur come to a speedy resolution on the Brazil international's situation at Camp Nou.

Arthur has agreed to join Juventus at the end of the season in a deal worth €82million, with Miralem Pjanic heading the other way for a fee that could reach €65m.

The former Gremio midfielder has not featured for Barca since his transfer was announced in June and did not return to training following the conclusion of LaLiga.

Arthur has been left out of the Barcelona squad to face Napoli in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Saturday and is reported to be hoping to negotiate the termination of his contract.

"It was a surprise to everyone that Arthur did not return," said Busquets, who will be unavailable to face Napoli due to a suspension triggered by a booking in the 1-1 draw in the first leg.

"Arthur's situation has been difficult, but the only ones who know the situation are the player and the club.

"We know some of the news from what comes out, that he left and will now return, but we are on the sidelines and we hope they reach an agreement that will be the best for all.

"We will only focus on the game against Napoli."

Head coach Quique Setien said of Arthur: "I spoke with him before he left, the reality is that from then on I have not spoken to him again, what I have learned has been through the club. I would have liked it to be different, but I can't say anything else."

Barca held a two-point advantage at the top of LaLiga when the season was paused amid the coronavirus pandemic but ended up finishing five adrift of champions Real Madrid.

Captain Lionel Messi made it clear they needed to improve to have a chance of getting past Gennaro Gattuso's Napoli and held talks with Setien to clear the air ahead of the resumption of their European campaign.

Busquets said: "Everything that is discussed in the dressing room to improve is welcome. These weeks have been very good for us to train, to better plan the game tactically.

"We really want to be able to continue in this competition and be in the final eight, but first we have Napoli, who have a great coach and he's not going to make it easy for us."

It remains unclear whether Setien will still be at the helm for the start of the 2020-21 season, but Busquets believes it will be a positive sign for everyone at the club if he is retained.

"It's a decision for the club whether Setien continues or not," he said.

"If Setien continues it will be a good sign for everyone, but that should not worry us now."

Bayern Munich head coach Hansi Flick says he can "totally understand" why reported Liverpool target Thiago Alcantara would want a move to the Premier League.

Thiago is out of contract next year and Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge last month confirmed the midfielder will leave the Bundesliga champions.

Liverpool are said to be eager to sign the former Barcelona man, while Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the Spain international.

Bayern boss Flick suggested a switch to England is more likely for the 29-year-old and expressed his disappointment that he wants to depart.

Flick told Sport1: "I can understand when a player is concerned.

"Thiago played in Spain for FC Barcelona and in the Bundesliga for FC Bayern Munich.

"If he wants to try again in the Premier League now, I totally understand. But it would be a shame because Thiago gives our game that certain something.

"That's why I would like, as a coach, to have him on the team for the next few years, but that's life. It would go on."

Thiago has claimed seven successive Bundesliga crowns, four DFB-Pokal titles, two DFL-Supercup honours and the Club World Cup trophy since arriving from Barca in 2013.

Bayern face Chelsea in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Saturday and hold a 3-0 lead from the first encounter at Stamford Bridge.

Monaco have signed defender Axel Disasi from Reims on a five-year deal.

The 22-year-old had been linked with a number of clubs across Europe but opted to remain in Ligue 1.

Monaco finished below Reims in the truncated league campaign but Disasi has no doubt he is taking a step up in joining Niko Kovac's side.

"I'm delighted to be involved with AS Monaco," he told the club's official website.

"This is a great opportunity for me to demonstrate my qualities at the highest level and to continue my progress at a club with high ambitions.

"I'm looking forward to starting training with my new team-mates and I'm going to put all my energy into helping the team achieve its goals at the end of the season."

Arsenal star Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's future has dominated headlines.

With Aubameyang due to become a free agent in 2021, Arsenal have been desperate to re-sign the Gabon international.

Now, it looks like the 31-year-old will remain at Emirates Stadium for an extended period.

 

TOP STORY – AUBAMEYANG TO SIGN NEW DEAL

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is close to signing a new three-year contract with Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

Aubameyang's current deal is due to expire next year and the Arsenal star has been linked to LaLiga giants Barcelona, as well as Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

But Aubameyang is set to sign a deal that will run until 2023, a two-year extension.

 

ROUND-UP

- Journalist Fabrizio Romano claims it is only a matter of time before Willian signs a contract with Arsenal until 2023. Chelsea midfielder Willian is free to talk to clubs as his deal at Stamford Bridge expires. The Gunners are also eyeing Thomas Partey but Atletico Madrid insist the midfielder will not leave unless his £45million (€50m) release clause is paid.

Paul Pogba is happy at Manchester United and is ready to sign a new contract, reports Romano. Pogba has been previously linked to former club Juventus and LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

- Staying at Old Trafford, and The Guardian claims United will listen to offers for Jesse Lingard as they try to prise Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund. United and Dortmund are still negotiating a transfer for Sancho, according to widespread reports.

Edinson Cavani could be poised to join Brazilian outfit Atletico Mineiro, reports Globo Esporte. The 33-year-old Uruguay international is a free agent after leaving PSG. Cavani has been linked to Portuguese giants Benfica, newly promoted Premier League team Leeds United, MLS outfit Inter Miami, Atletico and Inter.

Everton are interested in signing Atletico's Thomas Lemar, says Le10Sport. Carlo Ancelotti's Everton are also hoping to bring United full-back Diego Dalot to Goodison Park, reports The Mirror.

- According to The Athletic, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg is set to join Tottenham from Southampton. Spurs will pay £19m for the former Bayern Munich midfielder.

Liverpool will have to pay close to £20m for Norwich City left-back Jamal Lewis after the Premier League champions had a £10m offer rejected, says The Guardian.

David Silva looks set to move to Lazio. According to Sky Sport Italia, the Manchester City midfielder – a free agent – will swap the Premier League for Serie A following the club's Champions League campaign.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard believes star forward Alfredo Morelos has "had his head turned" by speculation over his future.

Morelos played 77 minutes against Bayer Leverkusen on Thursday but was unable to add to his 14 goals in this season's tournament as Rangers' lengthy Europa League run came to a close.

Moussa Diaby scored the only goal at the BayArena to conclude a 4-1 aggregate passage into the quarter-finals for the hosts.

Morelos has been heavily linked with a move to Ligue 1 side Lille, with Rangers' moves to sign attackers Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten on Tuesday widely interpreted as them preparing for life without the 24-year-old Colombian.

Asked by BT Sport whether he expected Morales to be at the club next week, Gerrard replied: "I don't know, I can't control what goes on outside.

"Everyone knows he's had his head turned, for sure. There's no denying that.

"But we just move forward. My focus is on the team and the players that want to be here and my focus is certainly on [Rangers' next game against] St Mirren.

"If a bid comes that the board like and are interested in, and the player tells me face to face he wants to go then we'll see what happens."

Gerrard refuted the suggestion that Morales' performance against Leverkusen had been compromised by the prevailing uncertainty.

"I don't think so. I think Alfredo's professional enough to block the noise out and focus," he said.

"He hasn't had the best of games tonight but we haven't as a team either.

"There are no fingers pointed at anyone. We've given it our best shot and unfortunately we fell short.

"We all have to improve, but Alfredo needs to remain focused."

Eric Garcia appears keen to leave Manchester City after telling Pep Guardiola he does not want to sign a new contract.

The defender, whose deal expires at the end of next season, has been linked with a possible move to Barcelona.

Speaking ahead of City's Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Friday, manager Guardiola confirmed Garcia has turned down the opportunity of extending his stay at the Etihad Stadium.

"He announced to us he doesn't want to extend the contract with Manchester City," Guardiola told reporters.

"He has one more year. We want it, but he doesn't want to extend the contract."

Tahith Chong's agent says his client wants to move to the Bundesliga amid reports Werder Bremen are closing in on a loan deal for the Manchester United player.

Chong, 20, signed a contract extension until 2022 at Old Trafford in March, despite speculation Inter were keen on the midfielder.

But first-team opportunities have been hard to come by, with a substitute outing in Wednesday's 2-1 Europa League win over LASK his first appearance since lockdown.

"Tahith would like to join the Bundesliga," his representative Erkan Alkan told Bild.

"We'll talk to Man United about it on Thursday."

That would seem to give something of a green light to Werder, with Bild reporting Alkan held discussions with sporting director Frank Baumann and head of scouting Clemens Fritz.

"I know the player. We'll get an attacking winger. I do not want to say more," said Baumann, according to the newspaper.

If Chong joins Werder, he could serve as a replacement for Milot Rashica, the Kosovo international who is reportedly in the sights of a host of clubs including Liverpool, Wolves, Aston Villa and RB Leipzig.

Barcelona have completed the signing of Sao Paulo's Gustavo Maia and included a €300million release clause in the teenager's deal.

The winger, who will join the club's B team, has signed a five-year deal after impressing in Brazil.

Barca had already paid €1m to cement a purchase option on the 19-year-old and have parted with another €3.5m to secure his services.

Maia, who was nearly sent on loan to Flamengo last year, became a father in December and overcame personal issues to force his way into the starting line-up at the Copinha, where he scored three goals in seven games.

Inter have confirmed the signing of Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez on a permanent deal.

Sanchez has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Serie A club following a successful season-long loan with Antonio Conte's side.

The 31-year-old Chile international joined United from Premier League rivals Arsenal in 2018, but failed to show what he is capable of at Old Trafford.

Sanchez is reported to have joined Inter on a free transfer after United ripped up his contract, which was said to earn him an astonishing £560,000-a-week.

He scored four goals in 29 appearances for the Nerazzurri following his switch to San Siro last August.

Sanchez found the back of the net only five times in 45 matches for the Red Devils after arriving at the club in January 2018 in a deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan move to Arsenal.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that Sanchez would be heading back to Inter following a 2-1 Europa League last-16 second leg victory over LASK on Wednesday.

"I can confirm that he's agreed and we've agreed. Alexis enjoyed his time there," he said. 

"They've liked him, so of course that's a good move for him. Wish him all the best. He's a top player that we want to see play his best football.

"For whatever reason, we didn't see the best of Alexis, but he's a top professional and we just wish him all the best."

Inter have confirmed the signing of Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez on a permanent deal.

Sanchez has put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Serie A club following a successful season-long loan with Antonio Conte's side.

The 31-year-old Chile international joined United from Premier League rivals Arsenal in 2018, but failed to show what he is capable of at Old Trafford.

Philippe Coutinho's move to Arsenal is seemingly getting close.

The Brazil international has been on loan at Bayern Munich from Barcelona in 2019-20, but is expected to leave Camp Nou permanently.

A return to the Premier League has been mooted.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL DEAL FOR COUTINHO IS 'ADVANCED'

A deal sending Coutinho to Arsenal from Barcelona is "more advanced", according to Sport.

The former Liverpool star would head back to England less than three years after leaving Anfield.

Coutinho has scored nine goals in 34 games for Bayern in 2019-20.

 

ROUND-UP

- There could be good news coming for Barcelona. Mundo Deportivo reports Marc-Andre ter Stegen has agreed to extend his deal at the club for five years, but there is still no financial agreement between the parties.

- Jerome Boateng's Bayern Munich future seems uncertain. Sport Bild reports the Bundesliga champions want to sell the defender, who would like to extend his contract beyond 2021.

- Takefusa Kubo looks set for another loan spell away from Real Madrid. AS reports Kubo will join Villarreal on loan for 2020-21, having spent this season at Mallorca.

- Are Liverpool looking for a back-up for Andy Robertson? The Athletic reports the Premier League champions value left-back Jamal Lewis at £10million, but Norwich City will not even enter talks for less than £20m.

- Contracted at Manchester United until 2022, Tahith Chong could be heading elsewhere to gain experience. Sport Bild says Werder Bremen are in talks with United over a loan deal for the attacker.

- After losing the Championship play-off final, Brentford may also see a star depart. The Guardian reports Crystal Palace are battling with Aston Villa to sign Ollie Watkins, who scored 26 goals in 49 Championship games in 2019-20.

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