Liverpool have been given the firmest response yet from a summer transfer target, while a former England goalkeeper has set his sights on a move to Leeds, according to Thursday’s paper gossip.
WERNER TELLS BAYERN HE WANTS LIVERPOOL ONLY
Timo Werner is reported to have laid his cards on the table and told Liverpool he wants to sign for them, and them only, this summer.
The RB Leipzig striker has been heavily linked with a move to Anfield in recent months, where he would team up with compatriot Jurgen Klopp as his manager.
With 27 goals from 36 appearances in all competitions, Werner is already enjoying the most prolific season of his career to date, despite it being far from completed.
And reports have suggested that Liverpool want to add him to their famous forward line, with rumours of a £52m release clause suggesting he would be a bargain addition.
However, reports on Wednesday claimed he had also held talks over a move to Italy with Inter Milan and Juventus, while Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Barcelona have also been strongly linked with his signature.
But according to German publication Bild, (via the Daily Star) Werner would rather not move to another Bundesliga team and has made it clear he wants a move to Liverpool before any of his other suitors. Furthermore, it’s suggested he would sign on the dotted line for Liverpool tomorrow were an agreement to be reached.
The main reason, it’s claimed, is the chance to play with Klopp, whom the striker clearly rates highly.
Speaking before football’s lockdown, Werner said: “There’s one of the best managers in the world with Jurgen Klopp, and he is also German.
“Many things suggest that I would maybe fit in [at Liverpool] very well with my playing style. But I don’t think about that at the moment because we have so much to do with Leipzig.
“I won’t rule out anything. We have the European Championship in the summer, I want to focus on that tournament.
“About everything else I will think after the season.”
Leipzig’s head of football Oliver Mintzlaff denied any conversations with Liverpool have taken place when questioned recently.
“Neither Jurgen Klopp nor [Bayern chief] Karl-Heinz Rummenigge contacted me,” he said.
“We are happy that we were able to extend the contract with him until 2023.
“He played a really strong first half of the season and was not the only reason why we won the autumn championship because of his 18 goals.
“We also believe that we are still a very good stage for Timo Werner on which he can develop as a German international.”
AND MORE GOSSIP
England goalkeeper Joe Hart wants a free transfer to Leeds – and would be willing to take a pay cut if they got promoted (Daily Star)
Premier League clubs want to organise behind-closed-doors friendlies at stadiums as part of their pre-season plans ahead of the resumption of the 2019-20 season (Daily Mail)
Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is one of the leading candidates to become Pep Guardiola’s new assistant at Manchester City (Daily Mail)
Manchester United stars have been told to prepare for a return to training on May 18 – and to clean their own kit (Daily Mail)
England’s Under 20 team is at risk of being scrapped or merged with other sides due to cost-cutting measures set to be implemented by the Football Association (Daily Mail)
French President Emmanuel Macron is imploring his counterparts in Europe to block any plans for the football season to restart in their respective countries, according to reports (Daily Mail)
Napoli forward Dries Mertens remains an option for Chelsea, with Frank Lampard ‘calling the player every day’ (Daily Mail)
Arsenal have been told they must pay more than £25m if they want to land Celtic’s French forward Odsonne Edouard (Daily Express)
The framework for a Premier League return has been cleared by Boris Johnson’s office, including crucial plans for widespread testing of players (Daily Mirror)
Premier League players will have to wear face masks in training and all footballs will be disinfected by staff wearing PPE as part of draconian rules designed to allow a return to group training (Daily Mirror)
Jadon Sancho is being offered the chance to follow the likes of David Beckham in wearing the legendary No 7 shirt at Manchester United (Daily Mirror)
Unai Emery is open to a Premier League job following his Arsenal sacking, but says La Liga is likely to be his next destination (The Sun)
Newcastle are set to be one of just five Premier League clubs to spend big this summer (The Sun)
The fate of the Football League season could hinge on a key vote by players about whether they work beyond their contract dates (The Sun)
Manchester United’s owners are facing another drop in the club’s share price that would result in hundreds of millions being wiped off its value (The Times)
Tottenham players will receive their April salaries in full on Thursday – a month after chairman Daniel Levy called on footballers to accept pay cuts (Daily Telegraph)
A number of Premier League managers are understood to be wary of being rushed back into playing football because of the risks involved to players and staff (Daily Telegraph)
Premier League and Championship clubs have risked being prevented from spending any money on new signings in the next transfer window, after taking up the government’s offer to defer PAYE payments (Daily Telegraph)
Celtic are braced to lose yet another top prospect with Manchester City poised to poach exciting midfield talent Josh Adam (The Scottish Sun)