Manchester United held transfer talks over Chelsea target Kai Havertz as early as January and continue to monitor the 21-year-old German forward even though he is expected to make the switch to Stamford Bridge this summer.
United have been focused on Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho for at least a year in their efforts to add more quality to attacking and boost overall squad depth.
But with Dortmund digging in over price and the two clubs seemingly at an impasse over the proposed transfer fee, there are no guarantees that the 20-year-old will be heading to Old Trafford.
United have more recently been linked with Kingsley Coman, Douglas Costa and Ousmane Dembele as potential alternatives, although it seems Havertz, who is versatile enough to play as a ‘number 10’, centre forward or winger, has been on the radar for longer.
According to The Athletic, United got in touch with Leverkusen back in January about Havertz and early talks took place. The quoted fee at that time was €100m (£90m), however, and the Old Trafford contingent are said to have ‘balked’ at the figure.
Even so, the same report adds that United have kept an eye on Havertz ever since, albeit ‘in the background’. The chances of striking a deal now also appear slim because Chelsea are already in advanced talks and are believed to be the player’s preferred destination.
The deal that Chelsea are trying to negotiate is rumoured to be closer to the £70m mark, which is significantly lower than the price United were given eight months ago, as well as much less than the £108m that Dortmund are doggedly demanding for Sancho.
Havertz scored 18 goals in all competitions for Leverkusen in 2019/20, as well as a further nine assists. Those numbers took his tally of direct goal contributions across the last two seasons to 54 in 87 games. To compare, Sancho managed 72 in 87 games for Dortmund over the same period.