LONDON: Chelsea have reportedly agreed a deal to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner from under the noses of Liverpool after they decided against paying his release clause.
Werner has made his desire to join Jurgen Klopp’s side well known, but Liverpool have been dithering over the £50m asking price and some reports suggest they’ve even pulled out of the race altogether.
That’s been music to the ears of Frank Lampard as it means that Chelsea are now in pole position to pinch what would be a huge signing from under Liverpool’s noses.
Werner to Liverpool was thought to be close to a done deal for some time, but the coronavirus crisis has seemingly sunk the move, with transfer fees and budgets being cut across the board.
The Reds are now not willing to meet the £50m release clause in Werner’s contract, with what once seemed a bargain for the 24-year-old now seemingly too much for them to pay for a player who wouldn’t be guaranteed first team football at Anfield.
Werner has broken the 30-goal barrier for Leipzig this season, and his stats and style of play make him one of the most sought-after targets in Europe, and he’s now up for grabs if a team can meet his club’s valuation.
Leipzig had hoped the downturn in transfer budgets would give them a chance to keep hold of Werner for one more season – his buyout clause drops to around £35m next season and if he’s anything like as good then that will be too much of a bargain for major teams to pass up.
One thing seems certain though, Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff will not be haggling on the price any time soon, but with Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, they’re more than capable of meeting that famed release clause, which expires on June 15.
Frank Lampard has Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud at Stamford Bridge but Werner would be an ideal addition to that strike force and more than likely to lead the line.
His finishing skills would be an upgrade to what they already have, while he can also operate in a number of forward positions and Chelsea have plenty of options in those positions for Lampard to play a fluid attacking formation.
Having a possible front three of Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner will have the fans at Stamford bridge licking their lips.
After so much flirting with Jurgen Klopp it’s a surprise that Liverpool won’t even try and make some effort to agree a deal with Leipzig. In this new age swap deals could become much more acceptable and the Reds could’ve used some players to balance out the deal.