In a normal world, RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner could have been one of the bargain deals of the summer. The 24-year-old has scored 30 goals and provided 12 assists in 39 appearances this season, compelling every big European club to take notice — if they hadn’t already been watching him during the previous three seasons of consistent success.
But, unfortunately, this is not a normal world right now, and the €55m release clause that Werner has in his contract is not looking so small anymore.
According to the Mirror, Liverpool, who have been the frontrunners for the striker’s signature, are not willing to trigger the clause and will only make a move if a lower fee closer to £30m can be negotiated. The Premier League champions-elect are facing a gargantuan £100m shortfall in income due to the pandemic. This goes in line with an earlier report, with the Reds seemingly prepared to lose out on the player even to a rival.
Christian Falk of Sports BILD is reporting along similar lines, claiming that while Chelsea and Manchester United along with Liverpool are keenly interested, none of the three are interested in paying the full release clause. While there are non-Premier League clubs like Inter Milan and Barcelona in the picture as well, it would be fair to assume that none of them would be willing to pay up either.
Werner’s contract expires in 2022 and his release clause will apparently drop to €35m in 2021. Leipzig seem to be okay with taking that risk and are unwilling to compromise at the moment.
“It won’t get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year. In general, we always have to ask the following question – can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value? But, I only think about those things once I have the facts on the table.”
- Oliver Mintzlaff, Leipzig CEO; source: Sport BILD via Goal
Whether these words are just a transfer market bluff or the actual truth will only be ascertained a few weeks from now.