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Chelsea and Man Utd transfer target Kai Havertz compared to Mesut Ozil



Former England star Owen Hargreaves has hailed Kai Havertz (Picture: Getty)

Owen Hargreaves has compared in-demand Bayer Leverkusen winger Kai Havertz to Michael Ballack and Mesut Ozil.

Premier League rivals Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have all expressed interest in signing Havertz, who has made 140 appearances for boyhood club Leverkusen.

The 20-year-old scored 20 goals last season and had contributed another 12 this term before the 2019-20 campaign was suspended due to coronavirus.

Havertz scored twice as Leverkusen marked the return of the Bundesliga with a 4-1 victory over Werder Bremen on Saturday.

Hargreaves has paid tribute to the Germany international and compared him to Chelsea hero Ballack and current Arsenal star Ozil.

‘He is special,’ Hargreaves told Goal. ‘He is the next one.

‘I think all the best German players stay in the Bundesliga for a while and then they go to the Premier League or Barcelona or Real Madrid.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool all want to sign Havertz (Picture: Getty)

‘Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Toni Kroos and Mesut Ozil all travelled and did well. These Bundesliga talents are in high demand as they are well schooled and good professionals. He is the next one.

‘All eyes are on Haaland and Sancho but Kai Havertz is the one from a German perspective. He is special and he is like a hybrid of Michael Ballack and Mesut Ozil.

‘That says a lot in terms of his goals and elegance.

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‘He is a super player and I think many fans will be watching him from England’s top six and thinking that a guy like him is good enough to go to their teams. He could play at Liverpool, Man United or Man City.

‘I think anyone watching him this weekend [against Borussia Monchengladbach] will say sign him up.

‘I would love to see Havertz go to Bayern but I think anyone would want him in their team.’

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Chelsea FC

Fikayo Tomori reveals he nearly quit Chelsea as a youngster



Tomori almost quit (Picture: Getty)

Fikayo Tomori admitted he nearly quit Chelsea in his early days at Cobham – when he thought he wouldn’t make it as a youngster.

Tomori has enjoyed a fine breakthrough season under Frank Lampard at Stamford Bridge but it could all have been very different.

He arrived at the club’s centre of excellence as a 7-year-old and rose through the ranks, eventually reaching the starting XI, while he has been capped for England.

But on his first time at Cobham, when he played with fellow Premier League players Tammy Abraham and Dominic Solanke, Tomori – who has played 22 times for Chelsea in all competitions this season – felt he wasn’t up to the required standard and told his father he wanted to quit.

‘Once I’ve left the centre of excellence, I’m going to Cobham and obviously this is proper Cobham, I’d see Tammy [Abraham] there, Dom Solanke,’ Tomori told Chelsea TV.

‘I noticed that I couldn’t just pick the ball up and run through everyone. So after that I got back in the car and I told my parents: “I’m not coming back here anymore.”

Tomori has impressed Lampard this season (Picture: Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty)

‘It was obviously a level up and my dad said: “No, you’re going to come back.”

‘It wasn’t the fact that he was saying: “You must be a footballer, you must play football,” it was kind of like, you are at a level where you need to challenge yourself.

‘There is no point playing with people that you find it too easy, if you come here and challenge yourself you are going to get better and I am glad he had that take on it.’

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Chelsea FC

What Didier Deschamps told Chelsea star N’Golo Kante after his refusal to train



Deschamps backs Kante’s decision not to train during the pandemic (Picture: Getty Images)

Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante has the ‘respect’ of his France manager Didier Deschamps for refusing to return to training due to fears he could contract Covid-19.

The 29-year-old took part in one training session last week with the rest of the first team but has opted out of any further involvement since then.

Kante has a family history of heart problems and the club have told him he can miss the rest of the season if he doesn’t feel comfortable enough to return.

Blues goalkeeper Willy Caballero admitted the France international is scared after suffering with coronavirus symptoms during quarantine, and the midfielder’s decision to sit out has been praised by his international manager Deschamps.

‘Not only do I understand it, but I find the case of [N’Golo Kante] exemplary,’ Deschamps told Le Parisian.

‘N’Golo is whole, natural. He always has a smile.

Chelsea players such as Mason Mount have returned to training (Picture: Getty Images)

‘He has expressed his feelings. I told him, “Respect”.

‘It is good that his club heard him and granted him his wish. You have to take into account the feelings of the players.

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‘Football is their job and their passion, but they cannot live the current situation in a carefree manner, without being worried.

‘If the club, which is the employer, demands that they come to train, it is complicated for them not to perform.’

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Ashley Cole reveals Arsenal’s mistake convinced him to join Chelsea



Ashley Cole says Arsenal’s failure to replace key players forced his move to Chelsea (Getty Images)

Ashley Cole says that the departure of Arsenal’s key players was a decisive factor behind his move to Chelsea.

Cole came through Arsenal’s academy and helped the club win two Premier League titles and three FA Cup trophies before making the controversial switch to Chelsea in 2006.

The former England left-back has denied suggestions that he was motivated to join Chelsea for the money and claims Arsenal were ‘falling apart’ by the time he left Arsene Wenger’s side after failing to replace important players.

‘The transition in terms of being in a different group, environment and players was easy because at the time when I first started at Arsenal, that was the core – the Keowns, the Seamans, the Vieiras, the Henrys, the Adams’,’ Cole told BBC Sport.

‘When they started to leave, this is just me personally, I felt there were holes in the culture of what it was that brought success.

‘I just felt it was falling apart a bit, or there were gaps missing and they weren’t filled.

Ashley Cole won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012 (Getty Images)

‘So that transition in terms of finding myself in a different culture and the willingness and want to win, I went to Chelsea and I had that.’

Asked if he would handle the move differently if given another chance, Cole replied: ‘Yeah, I think when you look back, there were mistakes, for sure, on both sides.

‘One hundred per cent, it’s not just entirely my fault and it’s not entirely their fault.

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‘I was probably a little bit too stubborn at the time and felt a little bit hard done by.

‘I was a little bit babyish to be honest, but it’s something I won’t ever regret and I wouldn’t ever change that situation. It’s just something that happened. Maybe it was meant to be, who knows?

‘But I definitely feel unjust about it because it wasn’t what people think in terms of money.

‘It’s crazy, but that was probably the last thing on my mind.’

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