Lukas Podolski sends warning to Chelsea over Kai Havertz transfer move

Chelsea transfer target Kai Havertz looks on during Bayer Leverkusen's Bundesliga clash with Hannover
Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz has reportedly agreed a contract with Chelsea (Picture: Getty)

Former Arsenal and Germany star Lukas Podolski has hailed Kai Havertz as a ‘great talent’ but suggests the young midfielder may lack the ‘strength and power’ to deal with Premier League football at this stage of his career.

Havertz registered 18 goals and eight assists across an outstanding campaign with Bayer Leverkusen and the 21-year-old’s performances have caught the attention of Europe’s elite clubs, with Chelsea reportedly at the front of the queue for his signature.

It’s understood Havertz has agreed a five-year contract over a move to Stamford Bridge and the Blues must now strike a deal with Leverkusen to complete their third signing of the summer.

Kai Havertz runs with the ball during Bayer Leverkusen's Europa League clash with Inter Milan
Leverkusen are demanding a fee of around £90m for the talented young German (Picture: Getty)

But Leverkusen have been playing hardball over Havertz’s price and are refusing to lower their hefty €100million (£89.8m) valuation of the Germany international.

Podolski, who swapped Germany for England back in 2012, has urged his fellow countryman to make the leap and ‘taste the drink’ of Premier League football.

However, the ex-Arsenal forward expects Havertz to struggle with the robust nature of the top flight should he complete a switch to west London ahead of the 2020/21 season.

‘Why are you asking me about a Leverkusen player?’ Poldolski joked during a lengthy chat with The Athletic.

‘I’m a Cologne [man] and they are our rivals along with Gladbach and Dusseldorf.

‘But he’s a great talent. On the ball he is so creative, but he’s still young — let’s see if he can fit into the Premier League.

‘I think he is still missing some strength and power, but he should taste the drink of the Premier League and see if he likes it.

Lukas Podolski looks on during Vissel Kobe's clash with Kashima Antlers
Podolski swapped Germany for England back in 2012 (Picture: Getty)

‘I did, but I knew I would like it. I’m strong, I have a good shot, I’m from the street, I’m like a pit bull.

‘I knew I could deal with the Premier League with the long balls, the physical side and the referees.

‘It was perfect for me and we had a good team and atmosphere at Arsenal.’

Earlier this week, Leverkusen CEO Fernando Carro confirmed that Havertz is keen to make the ‘next step’ in his career this summer.

‘It was always clear that we will have talks once the Europa League season concluded,’ he told German outlet Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger.

‘Kai has voiced his desire to make the next step.

‘At the moment, I can’t say whether this will work out in the near future or not.’

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