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Real Madrid identify Kai Havertz as Benzema’s long-term replacement

Days after Karim Benzema announced that he is departing the Santiago Bernabeu after 14 years, Real Madrid are close to landing his replacement.

According to Sport BILD, Los Merengues are one step away from signing Kai Havertz from Chelsea for a reported fee of £60 million.

The German media outlet insists negotiations have entered the final stage, with only details missing before the official announcement.

Havertz’s anticipated switch to La Liga comes out of the blue as the Spaniards were long linked with a move for Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe or Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane.

Only three years after joining Chelsea from Bayer Leverkusen for £62m, the 23-year-old is ready to open a new chapter in his career.

Although he’s had a hard time in the Premier League, netting just 19 goals in three seasons, the Germany international has caught Madrid’s eye.

Maybe it’s a panic move after realising they won’t be persuading Mbappe to leave Paris this summer, or Florentino Perez doesn’t want to shell out north of £100m to satisfy Tottenham’s demands for Kane.

It’s a strange choice, especially after Havertz’s dreadful record of seven goals from 35 Premier League appearances in 2022/23.

His lack of prolificacy compared to other names in the pool makes Madrid’s decision to pursue his signature even more unfathomable.

Napoli talisman Victor Osimhen has emerged as another potential option, but Perez seems to have made up his mind.

The German star could spearhead an exodus from Chelsea this summer after the Blues finished in the bottom half of the standings for the first time since 1995/96.

With no European football for at least a year, the London outfit will thin out a bloated squad as several first-team players, including Mason Mount and Mateo Kovacic, plan to exit Stamford Bridge.

Mount is wanted by Liverpool and Manchester United, while Kovacic has reportedly opened talks with Premier League champions Manchester City.

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