Nagelsmann 'can’t think of anything new to say' to make Timo Werner stay
LONDON - Chelsea are on the brink of signing RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner for £53 million after Liverpool’s interest in the German cooled.
The Blues are expected to finalise a deal for the 24-year-old next week. They are proposing a five-year deal worth £9m a season, or £180 000 a week.
Werner has a £53m release clause but Premier League leaders Liverpool have been put off given the financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus crisis.
That has left Chelsea manager Frank Lampard with a clear run at Werner. The club want a top-level striker to offer competition to Tammy Abraham and they have a good relationship with Leipzig after allowing Ethan Ampadu to join the Bundesliga side on loan this season.
Though his release clause is due to drop to £36m next year, Chelsea have made their move now to fend off competition from other leading sides, including Manchester United.
Werner has been an ever-present in Julian Naglesmann’s team this season with 31 goals and 12 assists in 30 games. The clause has to be triggered by Monday's week and, despite Liverpool previously being favourites to sign him, Werner now looks sure to join their Premier League rivals.
It is understood that Jurgen Klopp made a video call to Werner a couple of months ago, but the encouraging noises coming from Merseyside have since stopped. Chelsea have no such financial concerns after their transfer ban and the sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid last summer.
Werner reportedly made up his mind in March to leave Leipzig and, having not heard from Liverpool recently, he is on the brink of confirming the move to Chelsea. His agent Karlheinz Forster is understood to have held discussions with Chelsea yesterday and the details of the deal are expected to be ironed out next week.
Leipzig had been desperate to hold on to Werner, but Nagelsmann admitted there was nothing more he could do to convince him to stay. After a 4-2 win over Cologne on Monday, in which Werner scored, the manager said: "In the end, it is his life, his career. I can’t think of anything new to say to Timo."