Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea will have to act fast to secure the services of Germany star Kai Havertz after Bayer Leverkusen reportedly set an August 28 deadline for both sides to come to terms on a transfer fee.

The West Londoners have been linked for several months with a move for the player who has been described as one of the most promising European talents in a generation but if there is any humming and hawing over the £90 million ($119 million) asking price in the Chelsea boardroom, they might be advised to act quickly after it was reported that the German club have implemented the deadline to complete the deal.

The move mirrors that of Leverkusen’s Bundesliga peers Borussia Dortmund, who also created a deadline for Manchester United to agree terms of a deal to sign Jadon Sancho – a date which passed on August 10. Since then, Dortmund have steadfastly denied that any deal can be reached, and that the player will represent their club in the forthcoming season. 

Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been a longtime suitor of Havertz, who this season became the first player in Bundesliga history to score 35 goals before his 21st birthday – a record particularly attractive to Lampard, given that Havertz often plays out wide, or behind a striker. 

Re: Havertz Bild reporting that Chelsea got a deadline to agree a fee with Leverkusen.The 28th of August Leverkusen start training again. Chelsea have been told to sort it out before that date.Kai Havertz wants to leave. Chelsea are in pole-position. The rest is about money

Ahead of his second season at Stamford Bridge, Lampard has begun to put his own fingerprints on the team after the team’s transfer ban last summer. So far, another German international, Timo Werner, has been added to bolster the Blues’ forward line while Ajax’s Moroccan creator Hakim Ziyech has also been drafted in.

The other side of the pitch will also need to be addressed after Lampard’s team looked considerably defensively frail in his debut season. A new goalkeeper has been targeted to replace the error-prone Kepa Arrizabalaga, while defensive reinforcements Declan Rice, Ben Chilwell and Lewis Dunk are all also understood to be on Abramovich’s shopping list. 

Havertz, meanwhile, is understood to have signalled his intentions to leave Leverkusen this summer. However, should a deal not be reached with Chelsea – and given the current Covid economy impacting global football – it isn’t inconceivable that the club echo’s Dortmund’s Sancho stance and retain his services for another year, potentially until the likes of Real Madrid and Bayern Munich become more willing to open their checkbooks next summer.