At one time, Timo Werner’s transfer to Liverpool looked like a foregone conclusion, but following a rapid turnaround, the German now looks all but certain to be heading to Chelsea instead.
The RB Leipzig striker has publically praised the Anfield outfit on a number of occasions, but with the current coronavirus crisis, and the sheer strength of Liverpool‘s attacking options, the champions-elect appear to have opted against triggering the 24-year-old’s £53 million release clause.
However, former Reds star Steve McManaman is not surprised by the stance of his old side, pointing to the club’s recent record in the transfer market.
“I think it’s going to be difficult this year for teams to spend a lot of money in the current climate. Teams are losing money, we know that, there’s no gate receipts, sponsorship deals will have to be rebated,” McManaman told BBC Radio 5Live.
“I don’t think Liverpool will have the year they had when they bought Alisson and Virgil van Dijk but I don’t think they actually need that much to challenge again next year.
“It’s a case of picking and choosing your position, so it’s very sensible, prudent signing and maybe a couple of younger players joining the squad should suffice.
“You’d love them to go and buy a superstar but when has Jurgen Klopp gone out and bought a superstar that was at the tip of everyone’s tongue? Mo Salah and Sadio Mane, at the time, were signings that came out of left-field to a certain extent.
“You never know with Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp, they’ve done a great job in the past with signings and maybe they’ve got one up their sleeve for the summer.”
Speaking specifically on Werner, the former Real Madrid man reckoned the Stuttgart born forward wouldn’t get in Liverpool’s starting XI, while adding that Chelsea are ‘crying out’ for a player of his qualities.
“It wasn’t a surprise for me. I spoke about Timo Werner a month ago,” he added. “I think he’s a great player and can improve to be a better player – like with Kai Havertz – but if they joined Liverpool now they wouldn’t get into the starting XI.
“That’s a major problem when you’re shelling out £50, 60, 70m for a superstar player in Germany, you can’t then bring them to your team and put them onto the bench for half a season.
“I think he’s a really good player and a great goalscorer and he’ll suit Chelsea because of the forward options they’ve got at the moment. They’re crying out for a Timo Werner to be very honest.
“He might not get into Man City’s team, so he’s not one for them and I think it’s exactly the same for Liverpool. I think we just put Werner with Liverpool because of Klopp, that’s all it was. Klopp’s said nice things about the players but he would do as a manager as his record speaks for itself.”