Liverpool will not be signing Timo Werner this summer after two sources claimed the Reds had walked away from the £52million deal.
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.
Werner himself has done little to disguise his admiration for Liverpool and Klopp, releasing a series of interviews about his future and dropping more than one or two strong hints about a transfer to Merseyside.
And the striker has once again spoken again about his future, this time telling Bild on Friday night: “Bayern are a great club, we don’t need to talk about it, and Hansi Flick has proven this season he is a really good head coach.
“But if a move were to become an issue at some point, I would be more tempted by a move abroad than a move to Bayern.
“It’s just that the challenge of another league would appeal to me a little more than a move within the Bundesliga.
“Of course, it also important that mutual respect is there as much as possible.
“That’s why I chose RB Leipzig at the time, and why I would choose the club for [the] next step as one where I would get that feeling.”
However, one of the year’s longest-running transfer sagas looks set to have an unexpected twist with Liverpool now reported by the Daily Mirror to have walked away from a deal to sign Werner.
They claim Liverpool’s board have decided not to spend heavily this summer and will instead undergo a period of reduced transfer activity amid the global financial crisis that has affected the game.
As such, it’s reported the Reds plan a more disciplined approach to the transfer window and will only sign players to fill necessary gaps in their squad.
And that stance at Liverpool has been backed up by Sky Sports reporter Vinny O’Connor, when he claimed Liverpool will not be making any signings.
He said: “Do I expect Liverpool to spend this summer?
“At the moment, I’m not expecting much transfer activity. Certainly in terms of incomings once again.
“I was actually told that Liverpool won’t be signing anyone in the next window.
“If you would have asked me in January, I would have been pretty confident of one or two signings coming in to immediately bolster that first team squad.
“Since then things have obviously changed.
“There’s a different financial climate due to the impact of the coronavirus and that has naturally impacted on potential dealings in the transfer market as well.”
Edwards opposed to Werner stance
While the two sources claim Liverpool will not be signing Werner, the Mirror also report that sporting director Michael Edwards is opposed to their planned frugality and believes they will need to invest to ensure they stay one step ahead of their rivals.
Furthermore, with this summer likely to see a number of clubs operating with tight budgets, it’s very much considered a buyers market when the window reopens; another reason why Edwards wants Liverpool to still look to bring in new additions.
Liverpool’s stance on Werner is believed to have alerted both Chelsea and Manchester United, with the pair having previously overlooked potential deals given the striker’s penchant for Klopp’s side.
But with a move to Anfield now appearing to be off the table, the pair could now look to resurrect their initial interest in the attacker, who will be available if his €60m (£52m) exit clause is met.
Frank Lampard’s side have previously been strongly linked with the RB Leipzig man, while Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is also very much in the hunt to sign a new striker, with Saturday’s Paper Talk claiming a deal for a £60m France striker could be on.