Champions League Football Key for Chelsea in Pursuit of Kai Havertz

Kai Havertz
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v FC Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup Final | Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Securing Champions League football next season will be crucial for Chelsea in their attempts to sign Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz this summer.

The Blues' top-four aspirations were dealt a huge blow on Saturday evening when they slumped to a dire 3-0 defeat at Sheffield United. The result means that both Manchester United and Leicester can leapfrog Frank Lampard's men with victories in their respective matchday 35 fixtures.

David McGoldrick, Ollie Norwood
Chelsea fell to a woeful 3-0 defeat at Bramall Lane on Saturday evening | Pool/Getty Images

If Manchester City's European ban is overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Monday morning, then Chelsea's Champions League bid will be out of their hands.

Bild's Christian Falk reports that this could be bad news for Blues fans, with Havertz's desire to play in Europe's premier competition said to be a major factor in deciding his future destination.

The Germany international has expressed his desire to leave Leverkusen this summer after Peter Bosz's side finished outside the top four in the Bundesliga.

Despite this, Chelsea still appear to be front runners for the 21-year-old's signature.

Havertz has already said he's keen on a switch to west London, where he would team up with international teammates Antonio Rudiger and Timo Werner - who the Blues acquired from RB Leipzig last month - and it's understood the club aren't too far away in matching Die Werkself's valuation of the player either.

UEFA EURO 2020 qualifier group C"Germany v The Netherlands"
Havertz will team-up with fellow Germany international Timo Werner if he makes the move to Stamford Bridge this summer | VI-Images/Getty Images

Other potential suitors, meanwhile, have taken a step back in their pursuit of the German.

Bayern Munich have said they simply can't fund a deal for Havertz this summer following the signing of Leroy Sane from City, while Real Madrid are yet to enter negotiations with the German club.

Nevertheless, there's no doubting that this will be a drawn-out transfer saga, but if the Blues are able to secure Champions League qualification with just three games remaining, it'll go a long way in adding the mightily gifted German to their ranks ahead of the 2020/21 campaign.