Chelsea have won the race for Timo Werner after meeting the £53million exit clause in his contract, with the RB Leipzig striker agreeing a massive £9m-a-year-package to move to Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool had been strongly linked for months with a move for the 24-year-old with speculation rising since his return to Bundesliga action in the past few weeks.
It emerged recently that Werner had held talks with Liverpool, who were said to be favourites, but it was revealed earlier this week that Jurgen Klopp’s side are unwilling to meet his £53million release clause.
And that delay has allowed Chelsea to surprisingly step in, with Bild claiming Frank Lampard’s side had now secured his signing – thanks in part to their promise of a massive financial package.
Reports on Thursday morning claimed Werner had his heart set on a switch to Anfield, and has already agreed a five-year contract at Anfield worth £140,000-a-week.
But with the transfer fee still a major sticking point, Chelsea have now won the race to sign a striker, who has struck 25 goals in the Bundesliga and a further four in the Champions League.
Bild reports that Werner has agreed a deal to the summer of 2025 and will pocket around £173,000 a week while at Stamford Bridge; more than the reported package on offer at Liverpool.
The capture of the prolific frontman – widely regarded as one of the world’s deadliest strikers – will prove a massive coup for Frank Lampard’s side and, in many people’s eyes, elevate them into the realms of title contenders once again.
But there’s no doubting that the capture of Werner will be the signing that gets their fans talking, with Chelsea nipping in to match his exit clause before its expiry on June 15.
Speaking earlier this week, and in response to claims Liverpool now felt Werner’s value had dropped as a result of external factors, Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff told Bild: “[Werner’s price] won’t get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year.”
And it seems Liverpool’s delay has very much proved to be Chelsea’s gain, with Bild saying the move is expected to be confirmed in a matter of days.
Werner exit a blow for Leipzig
Werner has been an ever-present in Julian Naglesmann’s side this season and the coach admitted earlier this week he was powerless to prevent his star man from leaving at the end of the season.
“There is nothing we can do about it. He knows what he has in Leipzig and also what he has with me,” he said.
“A player has to feel that he can get better. If he doesn’t feel that, it wouldn’t do any good if I kept on telling him to stay here.
“In the end, it is his life, his career, he can decide that. I can’t think of anything new to say to Timo.”
Werner has played for Germany at every age group level since he was 15 and established himself in the senior set up three years ago.
He joined Leipzig from Stuttgart in 2016 and has since become one of the best strikers in the Bundesliga with 75 goals in 122 games.
Chelsea’s summer spending is already beyond the £85m mark with the capture of Werner and they don’t appear to be stopping there with noises growing louder that a deal for Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell will also soon be struck.