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No formal agreement yet with Chelsea over Werner, claims RB Leipzig chief

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Not done yet

FBL-GER-BUNDESLIGA-LEIPZIG-PADERBORN Photo by HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Ahead of RB Leipzig’s match against bottom of the table SC Paderborn, Red Bulls chief Oliver Mintzlaff was asked about Timo Werner’s impending transfer to Chelsea. Not surprisingly, he didn’t exactly confirm something that hasn’t actually been officially agreed.

“So far, Werner has not drawn the clause, nor has any club sent us a transfer contract.”

“No, we haven’t had an exchange yet [with Chelsea]. Accordingly, we have nothing to report. Timo Werner is a player for RB Leipzig. He signaled a few weeks ago that he was busy with a transfer. Until now nothing is dry.”

While Minztlaff’s words are appropriately non-committal, reports continue to pour in and agree that it’s only a matter of time before all the t’s are crossed and all the i’s are dotted. The transfer, including the payment of the buyout clause (€55-60m) and the signing of the five-year contract (at £170k per week) is expected to be finalized early next week.

Minztlaff’s words also reflect the fact that Werner controls his own fate. The decision to sell him isn’t Leipzig’s. Werner’s decided to go; Leipzig have no control once Chelsea pay the buyout.

The team’s only concern at the moment is finishing the season and qualifying for next year’s Champions League. (It will be interesting to see if Werner ends up playing for Leipzig in August when this season’s Champions League resumes. My guess is no, but that will be an item of discussion at some point — i.e. when the transfer of the player’s registration actually take place.)

“We are concentrating on the final sprint of the league. We want to qualify for the Champions League. That is the only thing we are currently discussing with Timo.

“It was important for us that we extend the contract with him [last summer]. Iis important for our young club that no player [leaves for] free [...] and of course there was this exit clause that we put in the contract to give him the opportunity to take the next step. Now Timo Werner is sitting in the driver’s seat, not us anymore.

“If we stay in the subjunctive and Timo Werner should change, then we are sure that with the new, receiving club we will first find the rule to end the Bundesliga season, whenever that is. We can only discuss [the rest] when we know when the Champions League is going to take place. That will only be decided in mid-June.”

-Oliver Minztlaff; source: Sky Deutschland via Metro and Google Translate

In any case, Werner started the match against Paderborn today and collected an assist. Unfortunately, Leipzig failed to finish the job and had to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw. They remain third in the Bundesliga, three points ahead of fourth place and one point behind second, where Dortmund do have a match in hand. Bayern have already wrapped up their six millionth title in a row.