Chelsea have had their latest transfer offer for Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz rejected by the Bundesliga club, according to a report.
The Blues have already agreed terms with the 21-year-old, with the transfer fee the only sticking point.
Indeed, Leverkusen’s sporting director Rudi Voller has insisted that there will be no discount on his exit. According to The Guardian, the German side want €100million (£90million).
In its latest report, the newspaper also claims Chelsea have had a new bid of €65million (£58.6million) rejected.
The offer also includes €15million (£13.5million) in add-ons but nevertheless falls at least £18million short of Leverkusen’s asking price.
In submitting their latest bid, Chelsea are allegedly trying to “convince” Leverkusen to lower their demands.
The Bundesliga side are aware Havertz wants to leave and do not want the issue affecting their pre-season preparations, with the new campaign beginning on September 18.
As such, Chelsea believe they can win the battle to drive down the midfielder‘s price.
For now, however, Leverkusen are standing firm. Chelsea could opt to increase the add-ons in the deal to drive up their overall package.
However, choosing how to increase their offer presents a dilemma to Chelsea boss Frank Lampard. Lampard is keen to bring in defensive recruits, but he needs to save funds to do so.
As such, offering more for Havertz could force his superiors – including owner Roman Abramovich – to decrease Lampard’s defensive spending capacity and negate a key area of the squad. Chelsea conceded 54 Premier League goals this season, the most in the top 10.
Chelsea have already spent large sums in recent months by signing Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner.
NO BLUES OFFER FOR LEWIS DUNK?
Meanwhile, further reports have dismissed earlier claims that Chelsea are close to signing Brighton captain Lewis Dunk.
Reports on Sunday claimed the Blues have made a £40million bid for the Seagulls defender.
However, such speculation is allegedly wide of the mark.