Chelsea look set to win the race for Timo Werner after the club agreed a deal in principle to sign the forward from RB Leipzig.
The Germany international is set to become Chelsea’s second major signing of the summer, the west London side ready to activate the star’s £49.4m release clause at Leipzig, with Werner having already agreed terms to join Frank Lampard’s side on a deal worth a reported £200,000-a-week.
Liverpool have been linked with holding an interest in the 24-year-old, Werner having long insisted his preference was a move to the Anfield and, according to The Athletic, has held several discussions with Jurgen Klopp over his potential role at the club.
However, Liverpool have taken the view that a move for the forward is unfeasible in the current financial climate – especially for a player who would initially be a backup to the likes of Salah, Mane and Firmino – a view that has left the door open for Chelsea to move in to seemingly secure the signing of a player who has established himself as one of the most exciting talents in the Bundesliga.
Manchester United had also shown an interest in Werner as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seeks to strengthen his attacking options at Old Trafford, though the Evening Standard report that the Red Devils will not lodge a rival bid. The club remain focussed on landing Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho which is likely to set them back in the region of £100m, their need for a recognised number nine having lessened by the extension of Odion Ighalo’s loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua.
Werner’s representative, Karlheinz Forster, has informed Leipzig of Chelsea’s willingness to meet his client’s release clause, with the star having been sold on the Blues’ project, of which he will instantly become a more central figure than if had he signed for Liverpool.
Werner now looks set become the second marquee arrival for Lampard after the earlier announced capture of Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, while the club retain a strong interest in signing England international Ben Chilwell from Leicester.
The signing of Werner, however, is the one most likely to excite the Chelsea faithful, the forward having enjoyed a scintillating season at the Red Bull Arena having scored 31 goals in all competitions for Julian Nagelsmanm’s side.