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Arsenal have made an opening proposal to recruit forward Kai Havertz from Chelsea.

The north London club hold a strong interest in Havertz and are now working to sign the 24-year-old.

Arsenal’s pursuit, which is still at a relatively early stage, has stepped up in recent days following contact with Chelsea and Havertz.

Bayern Munich — who are coached by former Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel — are also admirers of the Germany international, who has two years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge.

That puts Chelsea at a crossroads; ideally, they would look to tie Havertz down to fresh terms or sell him for an acceptable price. This is not a hard and fast rule, though, and if the attacker stays there is optimism he will return to form under incoming head coach Mauricio Pochettino after a difficult season.

But should a deal emerge that suits all parties, it is highly possible Havertz will depart.

Follow the summer transfer window with The Athletic

The Athletic has reported this week that Chelsea need to trim their squad not just to offset past spending but also to fund signings in this window.

Last season, Havertz predominantly operated as a striker for Chelsea and scored nine goals in 47 appearances across all competitions.

Since joining Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen three years ago in a deal worth up to £90million ($113.8m), Havertz has made 139 appearances for the club, scoring 32 goals and providing 15 assists.

Arsenal, meanwhile, plan to make West Ham United an offer for Declan Rice soon. There has been positive dialogue around the matter and a bid is expected to be lodged in due course.

There is no desire at Arsenal to waste anybody’s time and so they plan to formalise their efforts once the situation is in good shape.

Mikel Arteta’s players return from their summer break in the first week of July, ahead of a training camp in Germany. Arsenal would like to strengthen Arteta’s squad by then, but if not then ideally they will have done so before leaving on July 16 for a tour to the US.

How might Havertz fit in at Arsenal?

Analysis by Art de Roché

From an Arsenal perspective, it would depend on how they look to use Havertz. They took a clear path towards a general 4-3-3 shape over the past two seasons but the Germany international may not slot straight into that shape.

Although their primary 4-3-3 made Arsenal title challengers, their lack of alternatives held them back at times. Considering Havertz can fulfil multiple roles in the front line, having him as a different option to Gabriel Jesus could go some way to changing that.

Should Arsenal’s pursuit materialise, dropping the German into a more fluid attack could also help him rediscover the form that made him one of Europe’s top teenagers before signing for Chelsea.

How has Rice played this season?

Analysis by Roshane Thomas

Rice grew as a player and a person during the 2022-23 season.

He has grown in his role as captain despite earlier criticism, he helped improved camaraderie in the group during the poor run of form in the league, and he equalled his goals and assists record from 2021-22.

After the final home game of the season against Leeds United, Rice applauded supporters along with his team-mates. He then went and applauded the crowd once more across all sections of the ground after being announced as the player of the year. The England international has remained a positive influence despite speculation over his long-term future.

Why is Rice in demand?

Analysis by Tifo’s JJ Bull

Rice is one of the best players in Europe at breaking up opposition attacks. He can win the ball back, but then he carries it up the pitch, turning defensive play into an attacking one.

His reading of the game is top level — it seems innate — that’s what he does really well — anticipation, timing, decision-making.

West Ham often play at 4-3-2-1 and Rice is one of two midfielders. He is the one who forms a defensive triangle to build up from the back and is always available to receive the pass. But breaking up play is where his real strength lies, by patrolling the midfield so no counter-attacks can break through.

(Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)



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