Timo Werner has decided it’s Liverpool or nothing and will not agree to join Manchester United, according to The Athletic.
Whilst most of the newspaper attention has always been on Werner’s potential move to Liverpool, United are known to have spoken to the player to try to convince him to come to Old Trafford and the 24-year-old publicly stated that he was considering a move to United.
Liverpool have reportedly put all transfer business on hold and with a £52 million release clause that reportedly ended in June, it was believed that the Red Devils had a window of opportunity to swoop for the Bundesliga star.
But The Athletic’s David Ornstein claims that Werner, who has already turned down Bayern Munich, has his heart set on Anfield and is prepared to wait.
‘Werner’s situation is quite straight forward. The Athletic understands that his wish is to join Liverpool or stay at the Red Bull Arena for a further 12 months and revisit the matter in 2021’ Ornstein writes.
‘Werner is thought to have talked personally to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Manchester United and Barcelona, while his representatives spoke to Chelsea.’
‘Although the Germany international is said to have been flattered by such admiration from sides he holds in the highest regard, … based on factors including the coach, team-mates, playing style and environment, Werner has identified Liverpool as the best fit — on and off the pitch — at this stage of his career.’
Until now it has been generally reported that once the current release clause expires, Leipzig could charge what they want for the player. But Ornstein’s report sensationally reveals that it will actually pay clubs to wait to sign the striker as a series of lower buyouts is about to kick in.
‘Sources disclose that next year [the £52 million buyout clause] turns into a straight €40 million [£35 million] release clause and that drops to €25 million [£21m] in 2022’ the former BBC man writes.
‘The clause is active from the start of each summer window and expires on June 15. No arrangement applies in winter windows.’
Meanwhile German legend Lothar Matthaus has urged Werner to stay at Leipzig another season, warning him that he will just sit on the bench at Anfield.
‘Jurgen Klopp likes fast players in attack and Werner has pace, but he has to play’ the former German captain told Goal.
‘At Leipzig, Timo has his position. He is a fixed player in the system of Julian Nagelsmann. But Liverpool are one of the best clubs in the world.’
‘Sure, Werner could fit in at Liverpool but he likes to play the big games and he would have to get someone out of the team. I am talking about Mane, Salah or Firmino.’
‘I think when all these players are fit to play, then Werner would sit on the bench, which is not good, as he is a player who loves to play all the time.’
‘So, maybe it would be better to have another year at Leipzig.’
With a number of reports strongly linking the Red Devils with Lyon’s Moussa Dembele this week, it may be that the news comes as no surprise at Old Trafford and that the club has already accepted defeat in the race for Werner’s signature.
With Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez also having reportedly chosen Barcelona or bust, United’s options for signing a world class striker appear to have shrunk rapidly in the last few days.