Leverkusen boss jokes about Havertz move after Europa League exit

By Thomas Esser, dpa

Bayer Leverkusen’s exit from the Europa League means Chelsea and other suitors are likely to intensify attempts to sign playmaker Kai Havertz – but coach Peter Bosz can still laugh.

After the 2-1 loss to Inter Milan in the one-leg Europa League quarter-final in Dusseldorf, Bosz told reporters: “I can share with you the news that Kai Havertz will play at Heracles Almelo next season.”

Heracles Almelo are a modest first-division club in Bosz’s native Netherlands. They would not be able to afford the 21-year-old Germany international, with reports saying Leverkusen are holding out for around 92 million dollars.

Neverthless Heracles saw the funny side of Bosz’s joke and on Tuesday played along by tweeting: “Welcome Kai” alongside a photograph of the star.

Bosz managed Heracles twice from 2004 to 2006 and 2010 to 2013.

Chelsea, fourth in the Premier League last term, have already brought in RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner and Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech after a transfer ban was lifted.

Some media reports have said Havertz has already agreed personal terms at Stamford Bridge but that Chelsea want to offload players before buying again.

The lure of Champions League football could be a major factor for Havertz after Leverkusen just missed out on qualifying last term.

Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said last month: “The ideal scenario is to have clarity about the squad for next season early on, but that is rarely a reality. We’re relaxed.”

The new seasons in Germany and England begin in September.

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