Premier League • England

Real Madrid cool interest in £70m Chelsea star as second club icon’s departure is all but confirmed

Kai Havertz and N'Golo Kante of Chelsea celebrate

Real Madrid have decided against a move for Kai Havertz after Chelsea slapped a hefty asking price on the attacker, according to reports.

Los Blancos are currently in the market for attacking recruits with Karim Benzema set to join Saudi club Al-Ittihad. But, they are now looking for alternatives to the Blues star.

Havertz endured a difficult season in 2022/23. But, Mauricio Pochettino clearly still thinks he has plenty to offer Chelsea moving forward.

The Germany international was forced to play out of position as a centre-forward due to the Blues’ lack of a fully fit striker.

Overall, in 35 Premier League appearances, Havertz scored just seven goals.

Nevertheless, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti reportedly saw the 23-year-old as a potential solution to Benzema’s departure. Also, he could have provided cover for departing duo Eden Hazard and Marco Asensio.

However, according to 90Min, the Spanish giants have now ‘backed away’ from signing Havertz. This is because Chelsea want a fee close to the £70m they spent on him back in 2020.

As a result, it looks unlikely anyone will match that fee. So, the attacker looks destined for another season at Stamford Bridge.

READ MORE: Chelsea transfers: Prem rival to launch huge club-record bid for player who’s yet to debut; Pochettino decision already made

Kante set for €100m per year Saudi switch

However, one Chelsea star who does look set to leave this summer is N’Golo Kante.

The 32-year-old’s contract at Stamford Bridge will expire this month and despite revealing in May that he ‘wants to stay,’ Chelsea have failed to tie him down to fresh terms.

This has opened the door for Saudi club Al Ittihad, who are ‘on the verge’ of agreeing personal terms with Kante.

On Twitter, Romano wrote: “N’Golo Kante is on the verge of joining Al Ittihad on free transfer! Final details are being discussed then proposal will be accepted.

“Al Ittihad directors just arrived in London to link up with PIF Saudi delegation to prepare documents. [The contract is worth] €100m per year until 2025.”

Since joining Chelsea back in 2016, Kante has made 269 appearances, scoring 13 goals and making 16 assists.

In the process, he has helped the Blues win a Premier League title, Champions League, FA Cup, Club World Cup and UEFA Super Cup.

But, it seems Pochettino will have to begin his Chelsea rebuild without the France international.

This puts huge pressure on the likes of Enzo Fernandez and Conor Gallagher, who will have to step up to fill in for Kante in the coming campaign.

READ MORE: Chelsea to stun Arteta and Arsenal as Pochettino declares priority £80m target after missing out on Manuel Ugarte