Kai Havertz leaving the Bundesliga for the Premier League has emerged as a strong possibility.

Chelsea and Manchester United are reportedly vying for the Bayer Leverkusen attacker's signature.

However, Bayern Munich could keep the Germany international in his homeland.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN IN POLE POSITION FOR HAVERTZ

Bayern Munich are favourites to sign Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, according to the Telegraph.

The race is heating up for Havertz, who has been heavily linked to Premier League trio Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool.

Real Madrid are also reportedly interested but Bundesliga champions Bayern are in pole position to bring the Germany international to Bavaria as they also look to sign Manchester City's Leroy Sane.

 

ROUND-UP

- Calciomercato says Milan are determined to lure Madrid forward Luka Jovic to San Siro. The Serbia international has struggled since swapping Eintracht Frankfurt for Madrid at the start of the season. Madrid want between €45 and €50million for Jovic and the report claims Milan could look to sell Rade Krunic, Lucas Paqueta, Andre Silva, Suso and Mateo Musacchio to raise funds.

- The front page of Tuesday's Diario AS claims Bayern will offer Achraf Hakimi a "galactic" salary to prise the Morocco international from Madrid. The full-back has spent the past two seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund.

United are leading the chase for Watford defender Pervis Estupinan amid interest from Tottenham, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, according to the Express. The Ecuadorian is on loan from Osasuna.

Juventus and Barcelona have entered the chase for Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports Corriere dello Sport. Milinkovic-Savic has been heavily linked to Paris Saint-Germain, as well as United.

- Sport says Pedro's proposed move from Chelsea to Roma has collapsed amid an internal fallout in the Italian capital. The veteran forward has now been offered to Valencia.

Chelsea will finalise a deal to sign RB Leipzig and Germany forward Timo Werner this week, the Evening Standard claims. Liverpool and United were also eyeing Werner.

- Sport Bild journalist Christian Falk reports PSG are interested in signing Bayern's Lucas Hernandez to replace departing defender Thiago Silva. PSG will not renew Silva's contract in the French capital.

- Falk also says Dortmund have not received any official offers for star Jadon Sancho, who has been linked to United, City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Madrid and Barca.

Manchester United may be getting closer to finding a way to land Ajax star Donny van de Beek.

Van de Beek has been linked to numerous European giants after impressing with the Eredivisie outfit.

United are among them and the Premier League side could be ready to make a sacrifice to bring the Netherlands international to Old Trafford.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD FIND WAY TO LAND VAN DE BEEK

Manchester United will sell Andreas Pereira to bring in Van de Beek, according to the Mirror.

Van de Beek has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, but United could beat the LaLiga giants to the midfielder.

The 23-year-old has managed double-digits in goals in three straight seasons, netting 10 times in 37 games in 2019-20.

ROUND-UP

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United may keep Alexis Sanchez. On loan at Inter this season, Sanchez is contracted at United until 2022 and the Mirror says the Chile international could stay at the club if he accepts a squad role over being first choice.

- Barcelona are said to be struggling to find a suitor for Philippe Coutinho. Marca reports no clubs have made a move for the playmaker so far.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is being linked with an Arsenal exit. However, The Sun says the Premier League club are willing to sell Ainsley Maitland-Niles to fund a new contract for Aubameyang, or find the forward's replacement. Aubameyang's deal at Arsenal expires next year.

- Several clubs are reportedly eyeing RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. Tuttosport says Arsenal are favourites to land the 21-year-old ahead of Milan. Staying at Arsenal and La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Justin Kluivert could join the club from Roma, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan – on loan at the Serie A club this season – heading permanently in the opposite direction.

- Speculation continues around Achraf Hakimi. Marca reports Bayern Munich are keeping an eye on the defender's situation, with the 21-year-old on loan at Borussia Dortmund from Real Madrid this season.

- Juventus could be preparing to sell Aaron Ramsey. The Mirror reports Tottenham are one of several clubs to have been offered the chance to sign the midfielder.

Julian Nagelsmann heaped praise on Dani Olmo after the RB Leipzig star scored twice in a 2-0 Bundesliga victory over Hoffenheim.

Leipzig star Olmo scored a brace inside the opening 11 minutes as Nagelsmann's men saw off hosts Hoffenheim on Friday.

Spain international Olmo, who arrived from Dinamo Zagreb in January, opened the scoring in the ninth minute before doubling the lead with a first-time finish two minutes later.

Leipzig head coach Nagelsmann hailed Olmo after the team consolidated third position, telling reporters: "Before the match, we said that it's important that he plays on the central 10 position where he was trained.

"That's his favourite position. We put him there so that he's more likely to score than in the past few weeks when he had more defensive duties, which he did well, but he didn't get in front of the goal as often. Today he was good in the box several times and even had his third goal on his foot in the second half, when he had a free finish from 11, 12 meters.

"I was very satisfied with him. He adapts better and better. He's a great talent and a top guy who wants to learn, who has the necessary modesty, but also the ambition and the self-confidence and also opens his mouth sometimes and says that he wants to play.

"He wants to be given the chance. I like that. He has the necessary cheekiness and humbleness to develop. He's becoming a player for our future who will play a lot more good games."

Olmo, 22, added: "It feels great to bag my first brace for RB Leipzig. But the win is more important, I'm more pleased about that. It gives us a lift ahead of our remaining games. We want to win every game, take nine points and reach the Champions League!"

Leipzig extended their unbeaten streak in the Bundesliga to 12 matches – the German outfit undefeated since January 25.

Nagelsmann's Leipzig are third through 31 games, a point behind second-placed Borussia Dortmund and six clear of Borussia Monchengladbach – who travel to leaders Bayern Munich on Saturday.

"It was a very exciting game. Unlike the last few weeks, we had the game luck on our side," Nagelsmann said. "… I think it's a deserved victory, with the happier course of the game for us.

"But after the coronavirus break we didn't always have the luck of the game on our side. And at the end of the year it balances out very neutrally for all the teams. And today was a "neutrality game" for the negative course of play of the past weeks."

RB Leipzig strengthened their bid for a top-four finish in the Bundesliga with a hard-fought 2-0 win away at Hoffenheim on Friday.

Dani Olmo scored both goals early on as Julian Nagelsmann's side recorded a third successive triumph on the road since the 2019-20 season resumed in Germany.

The Spain international grabbed the opener in the ninth minute, finishing off a flowing move as he slotted a low shot beyond Hoffenheim goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.

A second soon followed for the January recruit, Olmo applying a first-time finish after the ball was headed into his path by team-mate Marcel Sabitzer.

Timo Werner missed the chance to increase the lead just before the break, the striker - who is widely expected to join Chelsea in the next transfer window - shooting over when in the clear.

Christopher Nkunku hit the post in added time for Leipzig, who now sit just a point behind second-placed Borussia Dortmund as they aim to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Dayot Upamecano has been told to sign a new RB Leipzig contract or be sold this year.

The centre-back has developed into one of the most sought-after defenders in Europe since joining Leipzig from Salzburg in 2017.

The 21-year-old has impressed consistently at the heart of the defence, although his form has tailed off since the Bundesliga season restarted and he was sent off in the 1-1 draw with Paderborn last Saturday.

Upamecano, whose contract runs until June 2021, is said to have a release clause of €60million that will expire at the end of this month.

Leipzig sporting director Oliver Mintzlaff has made it clear the club cannot consider allowing the player to leave on a free transfer in 2021.

"Upa is an extremely important player for us and one of the most sought-after talents in this position in Europe," Mintzlaff told Bild.

"One thing we can guarantee: we have a very clear understanding with him and his agent that we won't be letting him go for free. We cannot afford that as a club.

"So, there are two options: extend or change. I'm absolutely certain we'll know relatively quickly which direction we're going in."

According to Bild, Arsenal had a €60m bid for Upamecano turned down before the start of the season.

Manchester United have also been linked with the player, who began his career with Valenciennes and spent a season with Liefering in Austria before his move to Salzburg.

Chelsea fans waiting for news on Timo Werner did a double take on Monday upon reading the Premier League club's announcement about a the arrival of a striker.

It was reported last week that the Blues had triggered Germany international Werner's release clause, thought to be in the region of £54million (€60m), and had won the race for the in-demand RB Leipzig forward.

The Bundesliga side's CEO Oliver Mintzlaff denied an agreement had been reached, though it looks likely that Werner will be part of Frank Lampard's squad next season.

Official word on that is yet to arrive but many of the Blues' fanbase thought confirmation came from a Twitter post the team made.

"Congratulations, Tino!" read a post along with an emoji of a hand holding a pen.

However, rather than being guilty of a typo, Chelsea were actually confirming a new five-year deal for 18-year-old striker Tino Anjorin.

The teenager is the Blues' top scorer for the development squad this season and won the 2018 FA Youth Cup alongside Callum Hudson-Odoi and Billy Gilmour.

Anjorin made his senior bow in the EFL Cup at the start of the season and came off the bench to make his Premier League bow against Everton in March.

Timo Werner is not of the standard of Liverpool's current front three, according to Reds legend Robbie Fowler.

Werner has long been linked with a move from RB Leipzig to Anfield but looks set to join Liverpool's Premier League rivals Chelsea.

It is claimed the Blues have triggered Werner's release clause, thought to be in the region of £54million (€60m), to win the race for his signature.

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol recently said the club had "slipped up" by not signing Werner.

However, that is not a view shared by Fowler.

Fowler wrote in his column in the Daily Mirror: "I've heard the noise ­surrounding Timo Werner in recent weeks – but I'm not a big fan.

"I realise he's a talented player, he has moments of real brilliance in matches that underline his quality. But I stand by this: is Werner up to the standard of Liverpool's current front three? Not for me.

"I've also seen the meltdown from some Liverpool fans when they ­realised he's probably not leaving RB Leipzig for Anfield after all. It makes it seem as though he's a Marco van Basten, a world-class player who would walk into any side.

"For the life of me, I don't know why... does he influence games consistently enough? Not for me.

"Does he match up to the players you are signing him to challenge and replace? Not at Liverpool. Maybe at Chelsea."

Werner has scored 25 goals and supplied eight assists in 30 Bundesliga appearances in 2018-19.

Jack Grealish or Jadon Sancho at Old Trafford?

Manchester United have been linked to both players.

But Aston Villa's Grealish has reportedly surged ahead of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon as United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eyes reinforcements.

 

TOP STORY – GREALISH LEAPFROGS SANCHO AS UTD TARGET

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has moved ahead of Jadon Sancho on Manchester United's wishlist, according to the Mirror.

United have been tipped to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho at the end of the coronavirus-hit 2019-20 season.

But Grealish now reportedly tops United's list of transfer targets due to Dortmund's demands.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca reports Barcelona risk losing out on signing Inter forward Lautaro Martinez. The LaLiga champions are favourites to prise Martinez to Camp Nou but they are yet to agree a deal. Now, United and Real Madrid are waiting in the wings.

Inter remain hopeful of signing Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, says Calciomercato. It comes as the Nerazzurri also target Brescia sensation Sandro Tonali.

- The Mirror claims Liverpool have turned their attention to signing Wolves star Adama Traore as RB Leipzig's Timo Werner looks set to join Premier League rivals Chelsea.

Madrid have made an €80million offer for Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, according to Bild. The deal would also see Havertz stay at Leverkusen on loan next season. The in-demand Germany international is also reportedly wanted by Bayern Munich, United and Liverpool.

- The Daily Mail reports United are looking to hijack Madrid's pursuit of Ajax star Donny van de Beek.

- Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani has turned down Inter as he heads to Atletico Madrid on a free transfer, says Tuttosport.

Jurgen Klopp says it is "rather quiet" at Liverpool in terms of pursuing transfer targets, as he labelled Timo Werner and Kai Havertz "great" players.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with RB Leipzig striker Werner and Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Havertz over recent months.

But reports have suggested they will miss out on both stars, with Werner close to joining Chelsea and Havertz said to be in line for a move to Bayern Munich.

Liverpool manager Klopp was happy to acknowledge the quality of his compatriots in an appearance on Sky Germany.

But he explained the coronavirus crisis is giving the Premier League leaders pause before making any big financial commitments.

"There are a lot of good players on this planet," Klopp said. "Timo Werner is a great player, Kai Havertz is a great player.

"Right time, opportunity – everything has to come together. Six, seven weeks ago, we didn't know if we could play again this year.

"If we hadn't played the second half of the season, we would have thought, 'Okay, when can you really play football again?'. And now it starts right away.

"We act as if everything is already settled. It's not settled. We use this little loophole we've been left to play football again. 

"Everything else we have to see the moment it happens. We can't pretend now that everything's going to be fine in the future."

Discussing the impact on football finances, Klopp added: "There are all sorts of rumours in England about who Manchester United are going to pick, Chelsea are going to pick.

"It's rather quiet here [at Liverpool] at the moment, I think it's safe to say. 

"If you want to take it seriously, run a normal business and depend on income, you have no idea how much you will earn – especially because we don't know when we can start playing with spectators again.

"At the moment, all clubs are losing money. Without spectators, we have to pay back the season tickets and probably sell none next year. At least maybe without the first 10 or 15 games.

"The VIP areas won't be packed and the tickets won't be sold. This will have an impact on other partners and things will look a bit different.

"Discussing with the players about things like salary waivers and on the other hand buying a player for £50-60million, we have to explain."

Timo Werner's underwhelming performance for RB Leipzig in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bundesliga strugglers Paderborn was not down to the speculation linking him with Chelsea, Julian Nagelsmann insisted.

Media reports relating to Werner's future have intensified in the past few days, with stories suggesting he is close to joining Chelsea.

Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff claimed before the match that Chelsea have not been in touch regarding Werner yet, while he was also adamant the striker has not triggered his release clause.

The Germany international was below-par against rock-bottom Paderborn as Leipzig surprisingly dropped two points.

But Nagelsmann dismissed the idea that "hype" was to blame, pointing out the Stuttgart academy product has had to contend with such pressure since he was a teenager.

"No, it didn't bother him," Nagelsmann said when asked if the Chelsea rumours had affected Werner.

"He was very committed. He was always working out front, like [Paderborn coach] Steffen [Baumgart] said. He was on the run a lot.

"He has a total of 32 or 33 goals this season. Today he missed a few chances, but still set up Patrik [Schick]'s goal.

"I think he would have liked to score with one of his two big chances, but that has nothing to do with the hype about his person. He has known that since he was 14."

The result leaves Leipzig four points adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, but they went three clear of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, both of whom suffered defeats this weekend.

Kevin Kampl described team-mate Dayot Upamecano's red card against Paderborn as "completely unnecessary" after RB Leipzig were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw.

Upamecano received a second booking two minutes before half-time on Saturday when he kicked the ball away in frustration after being adjudged to have fouled Streli Mamba.

Leipzig were in front at that stage after Patrik Schick's opener but bottom-of-the-table Paderborn ultimately claimed a dramatic point when captain Christian Strohdiek struck in the 92nd minute.

"It was completely unnecessary," Kampl said to Sky Germany about defender Upamecano's sending off.

"We lead 1-0, have the game under control and then we weaken ourselves.

"This is extremely bitter. A win would have been a huge step towards the Champions League.

"We are most annoyed about the goal in added time. Paderborn played well in the majority of the game - but we can no longer let the game get out of our hands."

Leipzig have now drawn five of their last six Bundesliga home games and have 11 top-flight draws in total this season.

Those dropped points have left them third in the table and involved in a scrap to secure a top-four finish, rather than competing with Bayern Munich for the title.

"We can be happy that the competition has also left us with some points - that's the only positive thing," added Schick, referring to Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen losing to Freiburg and Bayern respectively.

The striker added: "Of course we are just really disappointed after the late equaliser. When we play in Hoffenheim next there is only one option - three points.

"We are still in pole position to reach the Champions League and have to give everything for this goal in the next few weeks."

RB Leipzig were left to rue Dayot Upamecano's first-half dismissal as Christian Strohdiek's stoppage-time equaliser earned the Bundesliga's bottom side Paderborn a 1-1 draw.

Central defender Upamecano received two cautions prior to half-time, the second of which came after he kicked the ball away in anger.

However, it looked as though Leipzig were going to take all three points anyway, with Timo Werner having put all the talk of his impending move to Chelsea to one side to set up Patrik Schick's 27th-minute opener.

Yet Werner missed a late chance that would have made it 2-0 when he grazed the crossbar, and Strohdiek pounced to level after Marlon Ritter's effort was pushed into his path by goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff says there has been no contact with Chelsea over Timo Werner despite reports of the Premier League club agreeing a deal for the forward.

It is claimed the Blues have triggered Werner's release clause, thought to be in the region of £54million (€60m), to win the race for his signature.

However, Mintzlaff would not be drawn on those suggestions while speaking to Sky Sport. 

Mintzlaff said: "We are concentrating on the final sprint of the league. We want to go to the Champions League. That is the only thing we are currently discussing with Timo.

"It was important for us that we extend the contract with him. We did that last summer, because of course it is important for our young club that no player moves free of charge.

"Of course, there was this exit clause that we put in the contract to give him the opportunity to take the next step.

"Now Timo Werner is sitting in the driver's seat, not us anymore. So far, Werner has not exercised the clause, nor has any club sent us a transfer contract.

"We haven't had an exchange [with Chelsea] yet. Accordingly, we have nothing to report. Timo Werner is a player for RB Leipzig. He signalled a few weeks ago that he was busy with a transfer. Right now nothing is dry."

Mintzlaff was also asked about whether they would continue in this season's Champions League, which had seen half of the last-16 ties completed when the coronavirus pandemic brought the campaign to a halt, with Werner in the event of a transfer being confirmed.

"We can only discuss when we know when the Champions League is going to take place," he replied. "It won't be decided until mid-June."

Lionel Messi could be set to extend his contract at Barcelona.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner's deal with the LaLiga giants expires next year, and there has been some speculation about the forward's future.

But, a renewal at Barcelona could be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO BEGIN CONTRACT TALKS WITH MESSI

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is planning to meet Messi's father next week to discuss a contract renewal, according to Sport.

The 32-year-old has won 10 LaLiga titles and the Champions League on four occasions during his time at Barca.

Meanwhile, Sport also reports Barcelona rejected a €100million offer for 17-year-old forward Ansu Fati.

ROUND-UP

- While RB Leipzig star Timo Werner is reportedly set to join Chelsea, it seems Liverpool may be looking elsewhere. The Independent says Liverpool are closely monitoring Borussia Dortmund attacker Jadon Sancho. The England international has been linked to Manchester United and Real Madrid. The Mirror, meanwhile, reports Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called Werner to tell the forward the club would not be pursuing a move.

- Barcelona are expected to be busy during the close season. Marca reports the LaLiga giants are still focused on Inter star Lautaro Martinez and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, despite the transfers being complicated.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Sport reports Bayern Munich consider Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo, valued at €40m, too expensive, with Ajax's Sergino Dest a cheaper alternative.

- Out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at season's end, Thiago Silva could be set for an exit. The defender is open to a return to AC Milan if he does not renew in Paris, according to Sport.

- Another player coming out of contract, Dries Mertens, is seemingly going nowhere. Sky Sport reports Mertens, 33, will extend his contract with Napoli for two years with an option for a third.

- Could Chelsea add a left-back this close season? The Guardian says they are stepping up their interest in Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell, while Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico is said to be an alternative.

Chelsea are reportedly closing in on a major transfer coup by securing RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

The Germany forward has long been touted as a target for Liverpool, but the Blues appear to have stolen a march on their Premier League counterparts.

But what sort of a player will Chelsea be getting?

Here, we take a look at the numbers that make Werner one of the most highly regarded players in European football.

MEASURING UP TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE ELITE

At 24, Werner is poised to enter his prime years and appears to be improving at a rate of knots.

Last season, he scored 16 goals in 30 Bundesliga appearances, under-performing his Expected Goals (xG) figure of 17.6, according to Opta data.

This term, he has raced to 25 in 29 outings – a prolific return that is 5.5 in excess of his 19.5 xG.

The early return of the Bundesliga has given Werner chance to burnish his tally, with four goals in as many outings since the restart, including a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition of Mainz.

But even in terms of goals-per-game, none of the leading Premier League marksmen are able to match the RB Leipzig star's average of 0.9 this season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero are all on 0.7.

Vardy and Aubameyang do boast better shot conversion rates – 32 and 26 per cent respectively, compared to Werner's 23 per cent, while Leicester City's former England striker also shades him 66 per cent to 65 in terms of accuracy.

Nevertheless, Werner compares incredibly well to his soon-to-be counterparts in England and his upgrade on Tammy Abraham's 0.5 goals per game for Chelsea could be a particularly significant one for Frank Lampard.

PUSHING LEWANDOWSKI IN THE BUNDESLIGA

Bayern Munich have also been noted as admirers of Werner and there would appear to be no more suitable heir to their prolific number nine Robert Lewandowski.

Since Werner's Bundesliga debut for Leipzig in August 2016, only Lewandowski (110) has scored more goals in Germany's top flight than his 75. Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric comes in third on 52

Indeed, across Europe's top five leagues this term, Werner's 31 goals in all competitions is better than everyone's return aside from the Poland superstar's 43.

No player's goals in the 2019-20 Bundesliga have been worth more points to their side than the 15 Werner's have bagged for Leipzig, while the trademark style of some of those strikes has certainly caught the eye.

GIVING RB LEIPZIG WINGS

Werner's pace in all attacking situations and speed on the break has become something of a calling card.

No player in Europe's top five leagues has scored more than his five from fast breaks in 2019-20. Vardy, PSG star Kylian Mbappe and Parma's Gervinho are on four.

In terms of goals following a carry – defined by Opta as a player travelling five metres or more with the ball – Werner also edges Mbappe out at the top of the standings 8-7. Lewandowski and Inter's Romelu Lukaku have six apiece.

Along with Leipzig team-mate Christopher Nkunku, Borussia Dortmund's Thorgan Hazard, Lazio's Luis Alberto and Riyad Mahrez at Manchester City, Werner has six assists following a carry, with that quintet only bettered by Dortmund winger – and another widely rumoured Premier League target – Jadon Sancho (eight).

Werner's overall goal involvements following a carry come to 14, putting Sancho into second place on the continent with 12. Mahrez and Mbappe are in esteemed company on nine with Lionel Messi and Sadio Mane – a man who can perhaps now breathe a little easier over his starting place at Anfield.

Additionally, Werner has got into the best shooting positions from take-ons in the top five leagues, amassing an xG of 3.1 in those situations. Vardy is the next best on 2.6.

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