Chelsea remain locked in negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen over a deal to sign Kai Havertz, but agreeing a transfer fee looks to be all there is left to do as the German forward has agreed personal terms with the Blues.
Manager Frank Lampard has already recruited both Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner to aid his attack next season, and Havertz has been tipped to follow suit in a deal which could cost close to the £90m mark.
Having already spent so much this summer and with plans to upgrade the defence, paying in instalments has long been seen as the best way for Chelsea to get a deal for Havertz over the line, and Mohamed Bouhafsi states that the Blues are 'optimistic' about getting this one done by doing exactly that.
Havertz is understood to be determined to join Chelsea this summer and has now agreed a five-year contract ahead of a switch to Stamford Bridge, so now the Blues must find a way to satisfy Leverkusen in their search for £90m.
Previous reports have put Chelsea's valuation of Havertz at closer to the £70m mark, but Leverkusen are prepared to stand firm. Sporting director Rudi Völler told La Gazzetta dello Sport there will be no discount because of the coronavirus pandemic.
"With his talent, it means he's on the list of all the best clubs," Völler began. "We know of the interest of a couple of clubs, especially Chelsea, but for us, the situation is quite simple; he has a two-year contract, if anyone wants him on our terms, fine, otherwise he stays here another year and we are happy. It won't be easy, but for an artist like him there is no Covid discount."
Chelsea are still widely expected to get a deal for Havertz done after Leverkusen's Europa League campaign comes to an end, with the need to strengthen the squad on full show during Saturday's 4-1 loss to Bayern Munich.
After the game, the boss told BT Sport: “We’ll look at [making more signings], because that’s our job, we’re very joined up on that already.
“From having a transfer ban (last summer) you feel we’ve missed where other clubs have spent and improved, and recruitment is a huge part of this game. Nights like this in a footballing sense, show me a lot, tell me a lot."
However, Lampard did pour some cold water on the rumours Havertz could be the next big name through the door, adding: “I wouldn’t expect anything, I wouldn’t expect, but it’s our job to go away and see what happens, and see if we can improve.
“In a football sense I feel like I know where we can improve, so now it’s time to look at that. I think it is a work in progress, it’s not the norm for Chelsea of the last 15 years.
“But a lot of people, and the people here working and the fans, the feeling is – and we’re not happy with fourth, we want more – but the feeling is that we’ve achieved something with the group we have. But now it’s important not to rest or to settle, but to think where can we improve, where can we improve the players, and as a club where can we improve?”