Arsenal sign Chelsea’s Kai Havertz for £65m

Arsenal have completed a £65m deal to sign Kai Havertz from Chelsea on an unspecified long-term contract.

The German forward becomes Arsenal’s first summer signing with the Gunners also targeting deals for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, for whom they had a £105m bid accepted on Wednesday, and Ajax defender Jurrien Timber.

Havertz has signed a long-term contract at the Emirates to spell the end of a three-season stint at Chelsea.

The 24-year-old secured his place in Blues history by scoring the goal that won them a second Champions League crown in 2021.

Chelsea signed Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen in 2020 for £75m but were looking to recoup a substantial portion of what they paid after an indifferent last campaign at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues are understood to be satisfied with the deal as Havertz, who had two years remaining on his Blues contract, had made it clear he wanted to leave the club.

Havertz was often deployed as a frontman at Stamford Bridge but Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, speaking to the club website when announcing his arrival, suggested the Germany international’s place at the Emirates Stadium would lie in midfield.

“Kai is a player of top quality,” he said. “He has great versatility and is an intelligent player. He will bring a huge amount of extra strength to our midfield and variety to our play.

Havertz scored the only goal as Chelsea won the 2021 Champions League final.

“We welcome Kai and his family to Arsenal Football Club and we are all excited to start working with him when we start pre-season training soon.”

Chelsea paid tribute to their Champions League winner in their own statement, saying his name had been “etched into club folklore” and that he would “forever have a place in our history”.

Also speaking to after completing his move, Havertz paid tribute to the squad mentality of his new side and highlighted where he thought the Gunners had strengthened when facing them as an opponent during his time at Chelsea.

The Gunners won both league meetings between the two sides last season, and beat the Blues five out of six times since Havertz moved to Stamford Bridge in 2020.

“It’s super exciting for me to be joining this amazing club and to be part of the Arsenal family,” he said. “This club has such a big history, and I hope we can achieve lots of things.

“The mentality in the Arsenal squad is very high and you can feel that. That was one of the reasons why it has been so hard to play against Arsenal recently.

“The aim is to win trophies and I’m going to give everything to do that for the supporters and everyone at the club. I’m now looking forward to meeting all the players and the staff when we come back for pre-season.”

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