CHELSEA are now ready to go head-to-head with Manchester United in a £70million battle for Kai Havertz.
Boss Frank Lampard has the Bayer Leverkusen winger in his sights as he looks to continue building his squad for next season.
Incoming striker Timo Werner has not even put pen to paper on a five year contract and Lampard is already casting his transfer net again.
Although he will have to sell big as well to balance the squad and the books if he does succeed in landing the hottest young player in Germany.
Chelsea have beaten Liverpool to the punch to land Werner in a £54million move which they hope will be completed by the end of this week.
This adds to the £38m spent on wideman Hakim Ziyech who agreed a move back in February from Ajax.
Manchester United remain the favourites to sign Havertz who has scored five goals in four games since the Bundelsiga restarted after coronavirus lockdown.
Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are also in the hunt for the highly-rated 20-year-old.
But that isn’t stopping Lampard at least making it tough for his Premier League rivals.
Chelsea’s head coach says he wants to “freshen up” his squad which includes a long list of home-grown academy graduates.
Havertz and Ziyech both play wide and can be seen as direct replacements for the expected departures of veterans Willian and Pedro.
But having already splashed more than £90m this year alone, Lampard will have to trim the numbers and recoup some money to finance his transfer plans.
It is understood that he is now operating under a ‘one-in and one-out’ system whereby every acquisition must be matched by a sale.
And it is in the heart of midfield where that is most likely to happen.
The emergence of rookie Billy Gilmour and the return from long-term injury of Ruben Loftus-Cheek means there is plenty of scope for a reshuffle.
France World Cup winner N’Golo Kante may call time on his near five years at Chelsea and move back to his birthplace Paris to join PSG.
Midfield heartbeat Jorginho is another possibility to leave and rejoin former Blues boss Maurizio Sarri at Juventus.
Lampard is also on the lookout for a left back with Leicester’s Ben Chilwell on his list but either Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri must depart beforehand.