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In-demand Havertz should stay at Leverkusen, says Rummenigge

12:45 BST 19/04/2020
Kai Havertz Bayer Leverkusen 2019
Michael, brother of Bayern Munich director Karl-Heinz, feels the young and in-demand forward would be better off staying at his current club

Kai Havertz would be better off staying at Bayer Leverkusen for the time being rather than moving to a European giant, according to Michael Rummenigge.

Young German forward Havertz has been linked with numerous top European clubs including Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern Munich, although a widely expected move this summer has been thrown into question by the coronavirus pandemic.

Former Bayern and Borussia Dortmund forward Rummenigge - whose brother Karl-Heinz is chairman of the Munich club - feels the 20-year-old would benefit from another couple of years of guaranteed first-team football with Leverkusen, before moving to the biggest club in the Bundesliga.

In his column for Sportbuzzer, Rummenigge wrote: "I have seen Kai Havertz very often in the Under-17s and U19s, because we had some of his team-mates under contract with our consultancy agency. You didn't have to be a rocket scientist to instantly recognise this boy's special talent. He was incredibly supported by Bayer Leverkusen and has long since paid back their trust in him.

"Given the current situation, I would advise Havertz to stay with Bayer for another year or two. There he can develop best, take the next step towards becoming an absolute leader.

"In my opinion, a move to Bayern Munich would be the next best step in a year or two - a top European club, which is still a bit more familiar and relaxed than one of the other options abroad."

Rummenigge also advised Leverkusen against selling the player, as they would not be able to get a good enough price for Havertz amid the economic uncertainty caused by coronavirus.

He said: "In the coming transfer period Bayer would not be able to achieve the transfer that one actually imagines, and which corresponds to Havertz's market value outside of corona times. [Bayer manager] Peter Bosz recently spoke of €60 to €80 million (£50m to £70m)  - I don't believe in that myself."

Rummenigge also used Mario Gotze as an example to Havertz of how moving to a big club too early in your career can actually be a curse rather than a blessing.

Gotze was German football's brightest young talent when he helped Dortmund to the Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, and made a £33m ($41m) move to Bayern in 2013, only for injuries and a loss of form to hamper his time in Munich.

He returned to Dortmund for a cut-price £20m ($25m) in 2016, and will leave Signal-Iduna Park on a free transfer this summer having never quite recaptured the form of his early career.