Thomas Tuchel has attempted to brush off reports that Timo Werner is on the verge of leaving Chelsea and says the striker “still has a point to prove”.
Werner has not proved to be the catalyst that Chelsea wanted after arriving from RB Leipzig in 2020. The £47.5m recruit has scored 23 goals in 89 appearances for Chelsea and made only 15 Premier League starts last season.
He failed to make the squad in Tuchel’s last two Premier League matches and Sky in Germany have reported tension between the pair.
The Daily Mirror claimed this week that the Germany international could be the highest profile casualty among as many as 15 departures.
And now German reporter Florian Plettenberg has claimed: “Tuchel is not the biggest fan of Timo.”
The German coach has struggled to get the best out of Werner. And the verdict is that the 26-year-old could move on in the next month.
Tuchel was asked about Werner situation on Friday and did not directly rule out the talk. And claimed to be in the dark about the situation.
Tuchel said, via The Metro: “I don’t think so.
“I don’t know about it, Timo has not talked to me about it.
“In the moment I think he wants to make his way at Chelsea. He has still to prove a point.”
The Blues boss pleaded with Todd Boehly earlier this week to “speed things up” regarding new signings. And the former PSG boss is well aware he needs to strengthen a squad which finished 19 points behind champions Manchester City.
Chelsea have also lost the heart of their defence and Tuchel knows he has a “rebuild” on his hands.
Co-owner and sporting director Boehly is working hard on adding new signings with a deal for Jules Kounde close.
“Somebody told me years ago and I’ll never forget. If you’re on a stairlift that is going down, to maintain your position you have to keep on walking, and this is what it is,” said Tuchel.
“Premier League and high-level sports in general is so demanding that if you want to maintain your position you have to improve.
“We have to do our homework. The other teams are not sleeping, we need to be more competitive than we are at the moment.”
Saint-Maximin to replace Werner?
The Athletic report that Chelsea are looking at Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin as a replacement. However, the London club are not keen on the £50m price tag.
Saint-Maximin has fallen foul of officials at Newcastle after parking his car directly outside the training ground. Despite the ‘no parking’ signs the French flier has continually left his Ferrari there and Eddie Howe has had to intervene.
Howe said this week: “That’s something that we will be addressing with him.”
The Magpies boss says they have been trying to get more physically from the winger and believes the Magpies star has responded.
“Well, we’ve worked really hard with Maxi during pre-season. He’s in a really good place, I think. He looks happy. He’s trained well,” added Howe.
Whether Chelsea would be stronger swapping Saint-Maximin for Werner remains to be seen. Werner has show glimpses of class in his time at Stamford Bridge. And Tuchel may well be better served trying to get that from Werner on a more regular basis.