Uli Hoeness has confirmed that Bayern Munich have pulled out of the race to sign Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz.
Havertz has emerged as one of the brightest talents in European football since breaking into the Leverkusen first team in 2016, scoring 45 goals in 148 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Seventeen of those efforts have come during the 2019-20 campaign, and he has also contributed nine assists to help Peter Bosz’s side finish fifth in the Bundesliga while making it through to the latter stages of the Europa League.
Despite the fact that the 21-year-old still has two years left to run on his current contract at Bay Arena, he is being tipped to leave the club this summer amid interest from a number of top European clubs.
The likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United have all been linked with Havertz in recent months, but Chelsea are now believed to be leading the race for his signature after entering into talks with Leverkusen.
Bayern had also been mooted as a possible next destination for the Germany international earlier this year, with club legend Lothar Matthaus among those to endorse the potential move for a “mega-talent”.
However, the Bundesliga champions have already forked out an initial fee of €49 million (£44m/$57m) to bring Leroy Sane to Allianz Arena from Manchester City, and Hoeness does not envisage any more big-money deals being completed in the current financial climate.
“I am sure that after Leroy Sane there will be no major transfers this year,” Bayern’s honorary president told German newspaper FAZ.
“That has nothing to do with the quality of Havertz. We all think he is a very, very good player.
“But in the Corona period after a transfer of almost 50 million, one of 70, 80 million or more I can’t imagine making unless we secure counter-financing through player sales.”
When asked when a final decision on Havertz’s future will be made, Leverkusen head coach Bosz told Deutschen Presse-Agentur over the weekend: “I couldn’t say. Perhaps the crucial call will come today, maybe next week, maybe not at all.”
As it stands, Havertz will see out the remainder of the campaign with the German outfit, who have a Europa League round of 16 second-leg tie with Rangers to look forward to on Thursday.