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‘Not a priority’ – Pochettino makes £72m Chelsea transfer decision as Real Madrid express interest in 23-year-old



(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Mauricio Pochettino is open to letting Kai Havertz leave Chelsea this summer if a replacement is found, according to reports.

A decision on Havertz’s future is likely to be made in the coming weeks as Pochettino continues to work his way through the Chelsea squad following his head coach appointment, which he officially starts on July 1.

Havertz, who will forever be remembered in the club’s history books for scoring the winning goal in the 2021 Champions League final against Manchester City, is out of contract in 2025 and was the subject of interest from Bayern Munich last summer.

Pochettino has started to make decisions over his squad, with Joao Felix and Denis Zakaria not returning next season after their loan spells, while Mateo Kovacic has been allowed to speak to Man City over a summer transfer.

Chelsea have already acquired, although yet to be officially confirmed, Christopher Nkunku, while Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will all likely leave, indicating an attacking overhaul is on the cards.

Havertz is now receiving interest from Spain, as reported by Relevo, who state Real Madrid have identified the Germany international as a possible attacking reinforcement.

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is their first choice this summer, but should Karim Benzema remain at the Bernabeu amid interest from Saudi Arabia, which is now looking likely, a transfer in excess of £100 million is considered ‘very difficult’.

Havertz is believed to be a ‘more feasible’ transfer and it’s claimed he is ‘not a priority’ Pochettino, who ‘wouldn’t mind if he left to leave a gap’ for another signing.

He joined from Bayer Leverkusen in the summer of 2020 for a then club-record fee of £72 million. Havertz has gone on to make 139 appearances for Chelsea, scoring 32 goals in all competitions.

It was a disappointing 2022/23 campaign for Chelsea after finishing 12th in the Premier League. Havertz promised they would ‘learn and grow as a team’ in his season-ending message to the fans.

“A season none of us wanted but we learn and grow as a team and come back stronger next season,” Havertz wrote. Thank you for all your support throughout the season.”