Chelsea target Havertz 'fighting' for Leverkusen and will face Rangers - Bosz

By Sports Desk August 05, 2020

Reported Chelsea target Kai Havertz is "100 per cent still fighting" for Bayer Leverkusen and will play against Rangers in the Europa League, says head coach Peter Bosz.

Germany attacking midfielder Havertz has long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea thought to be keen on a deal that will see them pay £70million up front with an additional £20m in performance-based add-ons.

The Blues have acted swiftly in the market, with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner already on board – the latter opting not to finish RB Leipzig's Champions League campaign.

But Havertz will be involved on Thursday when Leverkusen return to Europa League action for the second leg of their last-16 tie against Rangers at the BayArena, where the Bundesliga side will start with a 3-1 aggregate lead.

"I will answer these questions [about Havertz] very shortly," Bosz told a pre-match news conference. 

"Yes, he will play and yes I'm convinced he's 100 per cent still fighting for Leverkusen."

Following the completion of the round of 16, the Europa League – which was halted in March by the coronavirus pandemic – will be concluded with a knockout-style tournament in Germany.

But Bosz warned his side not to look further than their date with Rangers.

"We can only win the tournament if we win against Rangers. It doesn't make any sense to dream ahead to the upcoming matches," he added.

"I've tried to convey this to the players that they see it that way.

"We want to progress. If I need players tomorrow who may be at risk of being suspended, they will still play. Our focus is only on progressing."

Related items

  • Zidane happy with squad as Madrid boss dismisses transfer talk after Betis win Zidane happy with squad as Madrid boss dismisses transfer talk after Betis win

    Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane has no plans to sign new players before the transfer window shuts following his team's thrilling 3-2 win over Real Betis.

    Sergio Ramos scored a late penalty as LaLiga champions Madrid claimed their first win of the 2020-21 season at 10-man Betis on Saturday.

    After Federico Valverde's 14th-minute opener, Betis turned the match on its head with two goals in three minutes via Aissa Mandi and William Carvalho prior to half-time.

    Barcelona-owned Emerson scored an own goal three minutes into the second half before being sent off with 23 minutes remaining, and Madrid made the most of their numerical advantage when Ramos converted an 82nd-minute penalty.

    Zidane was asked about Madrid's transfer activity pre-game, with the Spanish giants quiet since the market re-opened, having allowed the likes of Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and Brahim Diaz to leave.

    Quizzed again on possible new signings post-match, Zidane told reporters: "No. We spoke about this before. I'm happy with the squad that I've got.

    "We are what we are and we're going to try to have a successful season."

    Reflecting on the match itself following Madrid's goalless draw against Real Sociedad in their season opener, Zidane said: "When you're behind it's difficult to change the dynamics of the game but we managed it today. It's crucial to do that every once in a while.

    "We had a lot of chances, and people we talk about how we don't score enough but today we hit three and could have had more. I'm very proud of all the players, they're working brilliantly. We have to keep it up."

    "The referee is there to review the action," added Zidane after Betis defender Marc Bartra was penalised for handball. "I think that in the end it's just what happened. He's in charge. I never get involved with the referees and I'm not going to get involved today. The most important thing for us is the game we played at a difficult ground.

    "We can be happy with the work done, we had to work hard for it and we managed to take all three points, which is the most important thing."

    "In the end it was a very complicated, difficult game," he said. "The players have given their all. It's three very important points for us at a complicated ground and against a team who have just won their first two games. We are happy. We know there is a long way to go and that we can and will improve."

    Zidane also handed a rare start to out-of-favour forward Luka Jovic, who continues to be linked with a loan move away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

    Jovic – playing alongside Karim Benzema – was tripped when through on goal as Emerson was shown a red card past the hour-mark, and Zidane said: "What I was looking for was to play in the opposition's half with a different formation.

    "We can play in different ways and one of them is with the two forwards. We can be happy with the game because in the end we got all three points."

  • Premier League data dive: Abraham rescues fragile Chelsea, ice-cool Fernandes snatches Man Utd win Premier League data dive: Abraham rescues fragile Chelsea, ice-cool Fernandes snatches Man Utd win

    It was another day of drama as Chelsea became the first team for nine years to avoid a Premier League defeat after being three goals down at half-time and Manchester United rocked Brighton and Hove Albion.

    West Brom led Frank Lampard's side 3-0 after only 27 minutes, but Tammy Abraham's stoppage-time goal rescued a 3-3 draw at The Hawthorns.

    A Bruno Fernandes penalty 10 minutes into stoppage time snatched a 3-2 victory for United at Brighton following a VAR check, which took place after the final whistle had blown, for handball against Neal Maupay.

    Everton have made their best start to a season for 27 years after a controversial 2-1 win at Crystal Palace, while Southampton striker Danny Ings scored the only goal of the game at his former club Burnley.

    With help from Opta data, here is a recap of the four fixtures to take place on a pulsating Saturday.

     

    Brighton and Hove Albion 2-3 Manchester United: Fernandes stuns luckless Seagulls

    To say it was one of those days for Brighton would be a massive understatement, with Fernandes snatching all three points from the penalty spot right at the death.

    The midfielder, who has now been involved in 17 goals in 16 Premier League games (9 goals, 8 assists), slotted in the latest goal in the top flight since Juan Mata's strike for Chelsea against Norwich City after 100 minutes and three seconds nine years ago.

    Brighton hit the woodwork five times, more than any team since Opta started recording the data in 2003-04, and were left to rule their luck after it seemed Solly March had secured a draw five minutes into time added on.

    Leandro Trossard was particularly unfortunate, becoming the first player to hit the woodwork in a Premier League match three times since Cristiano Ronaldo versus Newcastle United in 2006.

    Lewis Dunk will also want to forget the five-goal thriller in a hurry, having scored his fifth own goal in the competition - two more than any other player since his Premier League debut in August 2017.

     

    Crystal Palace 1-2 Everton: Richarlison keeps Toffees perfect

    Everton have won their first three games of a Premier League season for the first time since the 1993-94 campaign but they were fortunate to beat Palace.

    All the goals came in the first half at Selhurst Park, the in-form Dominic Calvert-Lewin putting Carlo Ancelotti's side in front to become the first player to score in each of Everton's opening three games of a season since Steven Naismith six years ago.

    Cheikhou Kouyate brought Palace level but Richarlison won it with a penalty after a hugely contentious decision saw Joel Ward adjudged to have handled.

    Brazil striker Richarlison has scored 31 of his 32 Premier League goals from inside the penalty area and the winner was his first from the spot in the competition. One concern for Everton is that they have shipped more goals (18) from set-pieces than any other side since the start of last season.

     

    West Brom 3-3 Chelsea: Abraham completes comeback after Blues' defensive horror show

    Chelsea looked to be heading for back-to-back defeats when a Callum Robinson double and Kyle Bartley put Albion three up.

    Marcos Alonso and Premier League debutant Thiago Silva gave the Baggies a big helping hand with errors that took Chelsea's number of mistakes directly leading to goals this season to three, as many as they made in the entire 2019-20 campaign.

    The Blues have only kept one clean sheet in 21 Premier League away games under Frank Lampard, while they have conceded more goals (42) on their travels than any other side since the start of last season.

    They were able to salvage a point, though, courtesy of second-half goals from Mason Mount, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Abraham.

    Slaven Bilic's side are the first team to ship 11 goals in the opening three games in the top flight since Arsenal in 1963-64 (12).

     

    Burnley 0-1 Southampton: Ings returns to haunt toothless Clarets

    Prolific striker Ings was on target early on to give Southampton their first Premier League points of the season.

    It was Saints' first win at Turf Moor in the league since back in 1971, ending a six-match winless run.

    Burnley fans will not want to know that the last time they lost their opening two matches of a Premier League season was in a 2014-15 campaign that saw them relegated.

    The 400th match of Sean Dyche's managerial career proved to be one to forget, with Ings netting his 10th goal in 12 Premier League appearances since the resumption in June following a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • Ruben Dias seems set for Man City after 'almost certainly' playing final Benfica game Ruben Dias seems set for Man City after 'almost certainly' playing final Benfica game

    Benfica defender Ruben Dias appears set to join Manchester City after the Portuguese giants' coach Jorge Jesus confirmed Saturday's 2-0 win over Moreirense was "almost certainly" the centre-back's final outing in Portugal.

    Dias, 23, came through Benfica's academy and has been a regular in the club's senior side since the 2017-18 campaign.

    In that time he has reportedly been tracked by many of Europe's biggest clubs, including Manchester United, but it appears his next move will see him wear blue instead of red.

    City are said to have offered €55million (£50m) and Nicolas Otamendi to Benfica for the highly rated Dias, who is also a regular at international level with Portugal.

    Dias scored the opening goal in Saturday's victory and also wore the captain's armband, while he was shown sharing emotional embraces with Benfica icon Rui Costa and other members of the club's hierarchy at full-time.

    Jesus then effectively confirmed Dias' exit as he spoke to the media.

    "I would like to be absolutely sure, but it was almost certainly the last game he played," Jesus told reporters.

    "In football you never know, sometimes everything changes in the last second, but I think that will not happen. He is a player we are sorry to see leave. He's a great player.

    "But I also have some fault for the departure, this has to do with the elimination from the Champions League [qualifiers] and there are things that have to be balanced.

    "He is the only player who has a high market value. He is already a good player and will be a beautiful player."

    Jesus also briefly discussed the chance of Otamandi joining from City, suggesting it will not be a swift adaptation period for the former Porto man.

    "Of course, Ruben has had seven weeks with me. It was not easy at first for all of them to adapt to my idea of ​​the game," he said.

    "And when he [Otamendi] arrives, he will realise that my ideas are different from those of Manchester City. This is if the Manchester City player comes.

    "There is also talk of Ruben Semedo. It will be weeks of adaptation."

    A visibly emotional Dias savoured his moment with Costa and was thrilled to seemingly close the Benfica chapter of career in such a manner.

    "It was a special moment [with Costa] and I think everyone already knows why," he said. "Obviously, people leave their mark on you, and the club also. Without a doubt, it was very special for me.

    "I am very happy. It was very important to consecrate this game with a goal, it was very special for me."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.