Bayer Leverkusen manager Peter Bosz has said academy graduate Kai Havertz can’t be kept at the club much longer, but suitors will have to pay “more than €100 million” (£90.8 million) to sign him.
Havertz-who already has seven senior caps for Germany-became the youngest Bundesliga debutant when he made his first-team Leverkusen bow in October 2016 at 17 years and 126 days old.
The 20-year-old has been linked with the likes of Liverpool, Real Madrid and Juventus in recent transfer windows, and Bosz told Algemeen Dagblad (h/t Goal):
“Kai is 20 years old, but this is already his fourth season in the Bundesliga. That says a lot. Everyone in Germany sees him as a child prodigy. He is from Aachen, has been here since he was eight. Nice boy to work with. Intelligent. He also plays the piano. “We sold his buddy, Julian Brandt, to Borussia Dortmund last summer. Havertz suddenly became even more of an eye-catcher.”
Brandt emerged in Leverkusen’s senior ranks several years before Havertz earned his first-team debut, and the latter has looked like he’s missed his former comrade at times this season.
Bosz concluded: “He [Havertz] can’t be held on to next summer. That will be a transfer of €100 million. What am I saying? More than 100 million!”
The youngster’s contract situation is one major factor in why Leverkusen are so willing to discuss a departure, with Havertz’s current deal set to expire in 2022.
He can play on the right wing but also tends to thrive as a No. 10. Statman Dave highlighted his return to form of late following a slow start to the 2019-20 campaign:
Bosz also provided insight into how Havertz had his mindset altered after the Leverkusen fans turned on him following a bad patch of form:
“A lot came to him before the winter break. We lost the derby at Koln and three days later also at home to Hertha Berlin. Suddenly the entire stadium whistled him off. He was devastated by that. ‘Why do people hate me?’ Then he’s just another 20-year-old and you explain: ‘They don’t hate you, but this is how it goes’. “During the winter break, we showed images that he did not reach the box enough. Now he does that more often. His share of goals and assists has skyrocketed.”
DW Sports profiled Havertz-arguably the biggest attacking prospect in Germany-in early March after the player fired back to form with two goals and three assists in four league outings:
Any decision to sell Havertz this summer would be made in an effort to maximise the profit of his sale, with his fee certain to drop if he were to enter the final year of his agreement.
Bosz’s estimated price seems appropriate when comparing the sales of Joao Felix or Ousmane Dembele from recent years. Benfica’s Felix-19 at the time-joined Atletico Madrid for €126 million in July 2019, two years after a 20-year-old Ousmane Dembele left Dortmund to join Barcelona for €105 million plus add-ons.
Havertz has scored 38 goals and recorded 30 assists in 139 total appearances for Leverkusen, though it seems possible the 2019-20 campaign will be his last at the BayArena.