Bayer Leverkusen will be powerless to resist selling Kai Havertz to Chelsea if the Blues' billionaire owner Roman Abramovich wants the German at Stamford Bridge, according to the Premier League club's former manager Avram Grant.

Havertz, 21, has been a revelation in the Bundesliga ever since making his breakthrough as a 17-year-old in the 2016-17 campaign.

The midfielder, who has been played in an increasingly attack-minded role over the past two years, has scored 29 Bundesliga goals since the start of the 2018-19 campaign, while his haul of 12 this term was added to with six assists.

Already a Germany international, Havertz is widely expected to leave Leverkusen in the coming weeks, with Chelsea said to be his most likely destination.

The financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic, combined with Chelsea's recent deals for Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner, have led to suggestions the club might not be willing to meet Leverkusen's apparent €78million (£70m) asking price.

But Grant, a friend of Abramovich and a former Chelsea manager, thinks the Blues will sign anyone if the owner wants them.

Speaking to Stats Perform News, Grant said: "Abramovich didn't have a problem with money before! When he wants something, he buys it.

"He doesn't do things to save money. Whether they have more or less money, I don't think it's important.

"What I think is important is that they started to use the academy. They spent so much money on it and they didn't give anyone a chance [before]. My policy at Chelsea was that we wanted one third of the squad as under-21 players, because you cannot invest a lot into the academy and not give them a chance.

"Now, not as a policy, they gave them a chance, and Frank has done a great job. Michael Emenalo, a director, was always complaining that we invested a lot of money in them [academy players] but we don't give them a chance.

"When you have a good young player, they can develop a lot and there are a lot of good talents at Chelsea, and we're in a good phase for the coming years.

"With a good signing they can compete with Liverpool or Man City. [Havertz] has the quality. We need to wait and see [if he's the one to bridge the gap]."

The signings of Ziyech and Werner, from Ajax and RB Leipzig respectively, have been widely applauded, particularly given they were both secured well before the conclusion of the season.

But Grant did urge caution, highlighting that many big signings in a short period does not always guarantee success.

"On paper they look like good signings and that they can make the team stronger, but we need to wait and see," Grant said. "We've seen years ago, Tottenham bought a lot of players but they bought too much and many didn't perform well - eventually Harry Redknapp saved them and did a very good job.

"I think you need to be careful when you sign a player, whether they will be good for the squad, but I'm sure they've checked this. It's not only about quality."

Dayot Upamecano has ended speculation about his future by signing a new contract with Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

The 21-year-old defender had been linked with a move to Premier League outfit Arsenal and his previous deal was due to expire in 2021.

Leipzig had told Upamecano he needed to sign a new contract or would likely be sold in this transfer window rather than being allowed to depart for free a year down the line.

And the France Under-21 international has elected to stay put, agreeing to terms on a deal that runs until 2023.

"I feel right at home here in Leipzig - the overall package is perfect," said Upamecano, who was also thought to be of interest to Bayern Munich. 

"We had good conversations with [chief executive] Oliver Mintzlaff, [sporting director] Markus Krosche and [head coach] Julian Nagelsmann, which showed to me that extending my contract was the right decision for me to make.

"Our young and hungry team is part of an ambitious club. I want to take the next step with Leipzig and reach our aims, because I'm convinced by the way we play our football.

"I have been in Leipzig for over three years and I have continued to improve alongside the team's development. I want to carry on developing personally, and I think Julian Nagelsmann is a coach that can bring me to the next level."

Leipzig, who have a Champions League quarter-final against Atletico Madrid to look forward to next month, have already lost Timo Werner to Chelsea after he became the club's all-time top scorer last season, so Upamecano's extension is a boost.

The centre-back has so far played 111 times for Leipzig since joining from sister club Salzburg in January 2017.

"We are obviously pleased that Dayot Upamecano has signed an early contract extension," Krosche added. 

"Dayot has become a top defender at RB Leipzig over the past few years and can still develop at the age of just 21. It's great that he will continue to grow as a player here with us.

"We have managed to retain the services of one of our most important players, who is a key figure for the club and also plays the way we want to as a team."

Jose Maria Gimenez says Atletico Madrid cannot use the altered Champions League format and conditions as an excuse when they face RB Leipzig in the quarter-finals next month.

The coronavirus pandemic caused UEFA to postpone the latter stages of its Champions League and Europa League competitions in March, with plans for their conclusions not announced until three months later once the timelines of the major domestic leagues allowed for clarity.

UEFA announced significant alterations to the two competitions, with both set to conclude as localised mini-tournaments comprising of one-off matches from the quarter-finals onwards.

While the Europa League will be hosted across four German cities, the Champions League's final stages head to Lisbon, where matches will be split between Sporting CP's Jose Alvalade stadium and the Estadio da Luz, the home of Benfica.

Atletico will face Leipzig – conquerors of Tottenham in March – at the Jose Alvalade on August 13 and will have to do the business on the day, knowing they cannot rely on turning things around in a second leg.

"We have to compete, regardless of the format or location, knowing that we want to win it," Gimenez told Atletico's website. "We'll do everything we can to do so.

"We have returned [to training after LaLiga's conclusion] just like we left: thinking that, in a few days, we had to return to prepare in the best possible way for what is ahead. We're very excited about what awaits.

"The game against Leipzig will be very hard. The teams that make it to the quarter-finals are very tough, but we also show who we are when we compete.

"We know Leipzig are very attack-minded, with their full-backs high up the pitch. We have to play with our usual intensity and be focused, all of us, that way we'll do well."

The victor between Atletico and Leipzig will face one of Real Madrid, Manchester City, Lyon or Juventus in the semi-finals.

Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk is desperate for Naby Keita to avoid another injury-interrupted season in 2020-21 and prove to the Premier League he is "world class".

Keita, 25, joined the Reds from RB Leipzig in 2018 after earning rave reviews for the German side and their sister club Salzburg, where he spent two years until 2016.

In Germany, Keita marked himself out as one of the most promising midfielders in Europe – his ability on the ball and knack for scoring or creating goals seeing him attract interest from many of the world's biggest clubs.

Liverpool stole a march by securing his transfer – reportedly worth up to £54million – almost a year early, so sure were they in his abilities, but his first two seasons in the Premier League have been impacted by injuries.

His form since the season's resumption after the coronavirus hiatus has given cause for optimism, however, with the Guinea international setting up goals against Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion, and scoring in the 5-3 win over Chelsea.

Van Dijk is thrilled to see Keita shining on the pitch and hopes the midfielder's fitness issues vanish next term.

"I'm just very happy for Naby," Van Dijk told Liverpool's official website. "Naby is a fantastic guy, he works so hard and he is an outstanding football player.

"We see it week in and week out. He has unfortunately been unlucky with some injuries, but hopefully he can stay fully fit for the next season.

"I think he is world class, if I'm absolutely honest. I see all the moments when he has the ball, the smart moves, the smart intelligence.

"It's just incredible to see and I'm very happy for him."

Keita featured 18 times in Liverpool's successful 2019-20 Premier League campaign, seven fewer than he managed the season before.

Real Madrid could face a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo before a Clasico showdown with Barcelona after Friday's draw mapped out the final stages of this season's Champions League.

There are plenty of pieces to fall into place before that scenario is possible, with Madrid nursing a 2-1 deficit ahead of their last-16 return against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium next month.

The winner of the City-Madrid tie will face the victor from Lyon versus Juventus when the reformatted one-off final stages begin in Lisbon from August 12.

Ronaldo and his team-mates are 1-0 down following the away leg against their Ligue 1 opponents.

Those teams will do battle for a spot in quarter-final one, the winner of which will take on the team to emerge from quarter-final three, which was drawn as Napoli or Barcelona versus Chelsea or Bayern Munich.

Fresh from their domestic double, Bayern are strongly placed having won 3-0 at Stamford Bridge in the initial match, although Lionel Messi and his colleagues have their encounter on a knife edge following a 1-1 draw at Stadio San Paolo.

The other quarter-finals comprise teams who have already booked their spots in Lisbon.

PSG overturned a first-leg deficit to knockout Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 and face the similarly free-scoring Atalanta.

The winner of that tie will take on RB Leipzig or Atletico Madrid, who overcame respective Premier League opposition in the form of Tottenham and holders Liverpool in the previous stage.

Champions League quarter-final draw in full:

QF1) Real Madrid or Manchester City v Lyon or Juventus
QF2) RB Leipzig v Atletico Madrid
QF3) Napoli or Barcelona v Chelsea or Bayern Munich
QF4) Atalanta v PSG

Champions League semi-finals

Winner QF1 v Winner QF3
Winner QF 2 v Winner QF4

Benjamin Henrichs will return to his native Germany after joining RB Leipzig from Ligue 1 outfit Monaco. 

Leipzig have signed Henrichs on a season-long loan deal with the option to buy the 23-year-old Germany international in 2021. 

However, Henrichs will not be eligible to represent quarter-finalists Leipzig in the Champions League when the tournament resumes in August. 

The full-back made 13 Ligue 1 appearances before the French season was cut short in April due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"I'm happy to be back in Germany after two interesting years in France. RB Leipzig are one of the most exciting clubs in Germany and even Europe and they have qualified for the Champions League again with a young side," Henrichs said.  

"The club is very ambitious and they have a clear way of playing football, which impressed me when I was playing for Leverkusen. After the French season was cancelled, I can't wait to get going after such a long break."

The German left Bayer Leverkusen for Monaco in 2018, penning a five-year contract, after featuring 76 times for his boyhood Bundesliga club.

Henrichs is Leipzig's second signing for the new season following Hwang Hee-chan's arrival from Austrian champions Salzburg.

Hwang Hee-chan is the latest player to make the jump from Salzburg to RB Leipzig after his reported €14million move was confirmed on Wednesday.

South Korea international Hwang has signed a five-year contract and will wear the number 11 jersey, which will be vacated by Timo Werner following his move to Chelsea.

Hwang initially joined up with Salzburg in 2016 and showed promise, scoring 12 goals in his first full season in the Austrian Bundesliga, which is still a personal best.

After a more underwhelming 2017-18 season, he went on loan to Hamburg in the German second tier, but his record of three goal involvements from 20 matches left a lot to be desired.

But upon his return to Salzburg, he thrived under new coach Jesse Marsch as he netted 11 times and set up another 13 in Austria's top flight, helping his side to the title.

He is the latest in a long line of players to move the move between the two Red Bull-owned clubs, and he could yet be followed out of Salzburg by several other sought-after potential stars.

Patson Daka, Dominik Szoboszlai and Karim Adeyemi are all reported to have admirers at big clubs around Europe.

Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has been tipped to leave the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season.

Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are among the possible destinations.

Havertz's future could become a lot clearer following Leverkusen's 4-2 defeat to Bayern in the DFB-Pokal decider.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA BOOSTED BY HAVERTZ NEWS

Kai Havertz wants to meet with Bayer Leverkusen to discuss his future after the DFB-Pokal final loss to Bayern Munich, according to Bild journalist Christian Falk.

Havertz scored a consolation goal as Leverkusen went down 4-2 to Bayern in Berlin on Saturday.

Chelsea are interested in Havertz, Real Madrid are hesitant about signing the Germany international in 2020, while Bayern are not prepared to make a bid this year.

Liverpool, Barcelona and Manchester United have also been linked.

 

ROUND-UP

- Falk also claims Bayern star Thiago Alcantara could join Liverpool or United. Bayern are braced for Thiago to leave at the end of the season and the Spanish midfielder has been tipped to move to Premier League champions Liverpool. However, United are also reportedly interested.

United, Arsenal, Napoli and Atletico Madrid are among the teams eyeing a cut-price deal for Madrid outcast James Rodriguez, says Marca. Everton and Wolves have also been mentioned as suitors.

- According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal are desperate to sign Atletico midfielder Thomas Partey, so much so they are prepared to sell either Matteo GuendouziAlexandre Lacazette or Lucas Torreira to fund the transfer.

- Gazzetta journalist Nicolo Schirra reports Sporting CP are in advanced negotiations to extend Joelson Fernandes' contract. The Portuguese side are looking to increase the 17-year-old's release clause from €45million to €100m amid interest from Barca, Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig.

Paris Saint-Germain are eyeing Monaco full-back Djibril Sidibe, Foot Mercato claims. The Ligue 1 champions are looking to sign a right-back after Thomas Meunier left for Dortmund.

- Madrid forward Luka Jovic remains Milan's first choice to replace Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Calciomercato says. Milan are ready to meet Jovic's agent as they look to pair the Serbia international with former Eintracht Frankfurt team-mate Ante Rebic at San Siro. Patrik Schick – who spent the season on loan at Leipzig from Roma – is another option should Milan fail to land Jovic.

Inter prefer David Alaba over Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri and have already met the Bayern star twice, according to SportMediaset. Alaba has also been linked to Chelsea, PSG, Madrid and Manchester City.

The unique competition between the Champions League last eight in August is likely to produce a surprise winner, according to Abel Xavier.

Former Portugal international Xavier is thrilled the country's capital city of Lisbon will host one-off matches from the quarter-final stage onwards as the competition ends with a mini-tournament.

Atalanta and RB Leipzig are among the teams already to have secured their place in the last eight, along with Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid.

Lyon and Napoli are hoping to upset Juventus and Barcelona respectively when the last-16 stage is concluded, while Bayern Munich and Manchester City – who lead their own ties – are rated as favourites to win the competition.

But Xavier feels the unique format and environment could benefit the sides who are not used to playing in the final stages.

"Yes, I think from my analysis of what I've seen with surprising results that have been happening in the [domestic] leagues, there is an extra buzz with the top teams because of the fans," Xavier said to Stats Perform News.

"There is a moment where fans give a buzz to the top teams. I think there is going to be a surprise in this last stage. 

"There are teams who are in the group and they can surprise because the teams are more exposed. 

"The teams who aren't used to being in this stage, they are more strong mentally because they play more freely, they play more open and the gap [in quality] will reduce, making games more competitive.

"For that reason, I honestly believe that it is going to be difficult and there will be a surprise in the end."

Xavier hopes the Champions League conclusion will be a fitting reward for those who have worked hardest during the coronavirus pandemic.

The former Liverpool defender added: "It's a completely different environment because of the pandemic situation and everybody readjusts. There is sporting reasons and also economic reasons.

"When you're looking at the leagues and what options they have to play and finish the leagues, there are a few countries that have decided to not continue playing, repeating the health issues.

"They for me are the priority - before football comes health. Of course, everyone must be protected and safe. 

"Portugal is one of the countries that has managed the [COVID-19] crisis very well. I think when you look at the impact, now things are becoming better, I think it's a safe place [to play football]. 

"For that reason, I believe that the opportunity to receive the eight best teams and play this kind of format in Lisbon is also a way to appreciate and say thanks for all those who made these events possible. 

"We are talking about people who work in health, hospitals because we are talking about health matters. If you are not safe you cannot have football either. 

"For that reason, I think Portugal, if things keep going the same way [with COVID-19], the teams will come here and it's going to be a great competition in a positive way.

"It's also going to attract a very positive image in Portugal because when you look back, Portugal was able to organise the big events in the best way possible. 

"For that reason, I think the final stages will be possible and I hope we can have a percentage of the public in the stadium, that would also be an upgrade if things [with COVID-19] stay like this with safety."

Manchester City could be ready to challenge rivals Manchester United for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.

Grealish, 24, has been linked with a move away from Villa, with Old Trafford seemingly his most likely destination.

But City may be primed to join the race for the attacker.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY CONSIDER MOVE FOR MAN UTD TARGET GREALISH

Manchester City will consider a move for Grealish if they receive their asking price for Leroy Sane from Bayern Munich, according to The Telegraph.

Sane is set to leave the Premier League giants this close season amid continued links to Bayern.

And City could challenge Manchester United for Grealish – who has scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 35 games this season – if their asking price is met.

ROUND-UP

- Quique Setien is under increasing pressure at Barcelona. RAC1 reports Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu, chief executive Oscar Grau, sporting director Javier Bordas and technical secretary Eric Abidal met at Setien's house on Monday to discuss the current situation. Trailing Real Madrid by two points in LaLiga, Esport3 says Setien could be fired as early as this week.

- Arsenal have made a decision regarding Dani Ceballos. The Sun says the Premier League club will not make a move to buy the midfielder from Real Madrid when his loan deal expires at the end of the season.

- With Serie A promotion secured, Benevento could be set to strengthen. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the club are set to sign former Chelsea forward Loic Remy, who is coming out of contract at Lille.

- Real Sociedad are leading the chase to sign Real Madrid midfielder Takefusa Kubo on loan next season, according to AS. The 19-year-old has been on loan at Mallorca this season, while Milan are also reportedly interested in the Japan international.

- With Timo Werner joining Chelsea, RB Leipzig have seemingly found a replacement from the forward. According to Sky, Hwang Hee-chan will join Leipzig from Salzburg for about €10million. Hwang has been linked to the likes of Liverpool and Wolves.

- Celtic are reportedly keen to hold onto Fraser Forster. The goalkeeper has been on loan from Southampton this season and The Sun reports Celtic want to buy the former England international.

Timo Werner said he had to "hurt one side" after opting out of RB Leipzig's Champions League campaign to join new club Chelsea.

Werner is set to link up with Premier League giants Chelsea on Wednesday following his reported €53million (£47.5m) transfer from German outfit Leipzig.

The Germany international forward played his last match for Leipzig on Saturday – netting a brace in a 2-1 Bundesliga victory over Augsburg to become the club's all-time leading scorer.

And Werner explained his decision to abandon Leipzig's 2019-20 coronavirus-hit Champions League campaign, with Julian Nagelsmann's men already through to the quarter-finals prior to the COVID-19 crisis after easing past Tottenham.

"Of course it hurts me that I can't help out [RB Leipzig] to play in the Champions League. But I'm a Chelsea FC player from July 1st and I'm being paid by Chelsea from then on," Werner told Sportbuzzer.

"It was clear that all parties - Chelsea, RB and my side - should and must settle this. Of course I tried to keep out of the Champions League issue as much as I could because it was clear that I would have to hurt one side.

"That's why my agent finally agreed it with the clubs."

Werner scored four goals in eight matches to help Leipzig progress to the last eight of the Champions League, which is set to be based in Lisbon for one-match knockout fixtures.

The 24-year-old finished the Bundesliga campaign with 28 goals in 34 appearances this term.

"I am forever connected to Leipzig and RB, will sit in front of the TV during the quarter-finals and keep my fingers crossed - maybe I can even be on site in Lisbon," Werner said.

Julian Nagelsmann has urged his RB Leipzig players to seize their "big chance" to win the Champions League.   Die Roten Bullen confirmed their place in next year's Champions League and a third-place finish in the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win at Augsburg thanks to two goals from outgoing striker Timo Werner.   It was Germany international Werner's final appearance for the club before he joins Chelsea in a reported €53million (£47.5m) deal, yet the campaign is not over for Leipzig, who are still in this season's Champions League.   The competition will resume in August and Leipzig are already assured of a spot in the last eight.   And the fact that the quarter-finals and semi-finals are both one-legged affairs at a neutral venue in Lisbon has given Nagelsmann encouragement that, even without Werner, his team can conquer Europe.   "Of course it's a huge challenge for us, but also for the other teams that are still in the Champions League," he told a news conference.   "I do not want to complain because we are very happy that we can participate there. I think we have a big chance because it will not be that easy again to win this tournament, with three games.

"It's demanding but I want us to go there with the following thoughts - we need only three victories to win the most valuable trophy in club football."

Werner left Leipzig as their all-time top scorer having broken the record when he took his tally to 95 for the club with his brace on Saturday.

Only Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski scored more than Werner's 28 goals in the Bundesliga this term and he will now look to transform that form to Chelsea, with the backing of the club and coach he is leaving.

Asked about any goodbye message the team delivered to Werner, Nagelsmann added: "Our sporting director Markus Krosche said some words in front of the team. 

"I also said goodbye to him before and told him some things, but they stay private.

"It's easy to say that he leaves a huge gap when you look at his numbers, but also as a human because he has the heart in the right place.

"He has a lot of friends here in Leipzig and felt very comfortable. I wish him all the best in London and hope that he'll have similar numbers in four years as well."

Werner was delighted to sign off by grabbing the club record and admitted he will depart Leipzig with fond memories.

"Firstly, it makes me really happy that we won our last game of the season," he said.

"We qualified for the Champions League and ended the season on a high.

"The fact that I am the record goalscorer for Leipzig makes me really proud. I will miss the club and the city."

Bayer Leverkusen were denied a place in next season's Champions League after Borussia Monchengladbach defeated Hertha Berlin.

Gladbach earned a 2-1 home victory over Hertha on Saturday to ensure they will be back in Europe's elite club competition for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign.

They were denied a place in the top four on the final day of last season when they lost at home to Borussia Dortmund while Leverkusen beat Hertha.

But Gladbach ensured there would be no repeat and this time they were celebrating after defeating the side from Berlin.

Jonas Hofmann's seventh-minute opener settled any nerves for the hosts.

He was set up by Breel Embolo and roles were reversed when Hofmann created Gladbach's crucial second with 12 minutes remaining, which was scored by the Switzerland striker.

Vedad Ibisevic got one back for Hertha but Gladbach were not to be denied.

It meant disappointment for Leverkusen even though they did what was required of them to stand a chance of qualifying, defeating Mainz 1-0 at home courtesy of Kevin Volland's second-minute goal.

Last week's defeat at Hertha ultimately proved costly for Leverkusen, with Gladbach surging up to fourth with three straight wins to wrap up the season.

Leverkusen will hope to bounce back in the DFB-Pokal final against Bayern Munich on July 4, while they are also still in the Europa League.

RB Leipzig, meanwhile, were all but mathematically certain of a Champions League spot going into the final day of the campaign.

They sealed a third-place finish with a battling 2-1 win at Augsburg, with Timo Werner scoring a double on his final appearance for the club.

Leipzig would have ended up fourth had Werner not scored the winner 10 minutes from time.

Champions Bayern ultimately finished 13 points clear of Dortmund at the top. 

Dortmund were three ahead of Leipzig, who finished on 66 points, while Gladbach and Leverkusen ended up with 65 and 63 respectively.

Hoffenheim's win over Dortmund on the last day saw them move above Wolfsburg, who lost against Bayern, to finish sixth and ensure automatic entry to the Europa League group stage.

Seventh-placed Wolfsburg will now have to go through the qualifying rounds.

Timo Werner scored twice against Augsburg on Saturday to become RB Leipzig's all-time leading scorer in his final match with the club.

The Germany international opened the scoring in the first half on Saturday, which put him on 94 goals for Leipzig – a new club record.

Werner later added a second to finish on 95 ahead of his move to Chelsea, an impending transfer that was confirmed this month.

Leipzig's 2-1 victory meant they secured third place in the Bundesliga, with the striker taking his top-flight tally to 28 in 34 matches this term.

It is the second time Werner, who joined from boyhood team Stuttgart in 2016, has gone beyond 20 league goals in a single campaign, his first coming in 2016-17 when he netted 21 times.

The 24-year-old has also added six goals across the DFB-Pokal and Champions League this term and, although Leipzig remain in the latter competition, Werner will not be able to add to his tally.

It was decided Werner will link up Chelsea next week, though he will not be eligible to represent the Blues until next season, with Leipzig reportedly set to receive €53million (£47.5m).

Kevin Kampl has committed his future to RB Leipzig, signing a contract extension that runs until 2023.

The Slovenia international joined from Bundesliga rivals Bayer Leverkusen in 2017 and is approaching a century of appearances for Leipzig, though his 2019-20 campaign has been hampered by a foot injury.

Midfielder Kampl, 29, has been restricted to 12 outings in all competitions but is delighted to be staying at the club for a further two years, as his previous deal was set to expire after next season.

"I'm really pleased about my contract extension. My family and I feel right at home here and Leipzig has become a second home to us," Kampl said. 

"Despite my injury, the club made it clear that they would like to keep me for the coming years and I think I've paid back their support since my return.

"I'm excited for the future, there's a lot we want to achieve and I want to play my part as an experienced man in a young and talented team."

Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche praised Kampl's leadership qualities as they look to build for the future, albeit one without Chelsea-bound forward Timo Werner.

"Kevin is one of the real leaders in our team, both on and off the pitch," Krosche told the club's website. 

"He has shown since returning from his long-term injury how important he is for us and how he embodies the way we want to play football.

"We're really happy that he has extended his contract early for a further two years and that we've managed to secure enough key player's future here."

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