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Tuchel looking for Werner to find his rhythm amid renewed Bayern Munich speculation

The Nagelsmann connection

Iceland v Germany - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

Well before Timo Werner ended up joining us last summer, with Chelsea exercising his €55m release clause at RB Leipzig, he was on the radar of Bayern Munich, as all of the Bundesliga’s top performers eventually are. And in fact, Werner almost joined the Bavarian giants twelve months earlier, only for the move to fall through with plenty of subsequent finger-pointing from either side.

Werner, who also rejected Liverpool at the time, played more minutes than all but two others on the team last season (Mount and Mendy) and while he ended up leading the team in goals and assists, it’s been hard to shake the feeling that he hasn’t quite lived up to his billing (and just looking at the raw scoring numbers will certainly underline that feeling).

With the arrival of Romelu Lukaku, the settling-in of Kai Havertz, and the continued indispensability of Mason Mount, not to mention the plethora of other attacking talent on the team (Ziyech, Pulisic, Hudson-Odoi, etc.), Werner is unlikely to reach those numbers, certainly as far as his minutes are concerned. Already, in our first four games of the season, he’s only played 40 per cent of the minutes available to him.

He did show good form during the break however, scoring a goal in each of Germany’s three games while playing every minute, and now Thomas Tuchel’s looking for him to build on that to earn more minutes back at Chelsea as well.

“Timo and Romelu can be a good fit together. Timo loves to play around a reference upfront and Romelu is clearly our reference upfront [but] the most important thing is he finds his rhythm, finds his confidence, finds his joy. The players are in charge to take their positions, fighting for their positions, and once they have it to not give it away.

“We are very happy that he played (for Germany) and from here we go. We have a squad where we are not too many players, but players with high quality and high ambition and Timo is a guy we count on and it is absolutely necessary that we have someone on a high level and he can be decisive for us.”

-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London

That’s a slight change form how Tuchel was shaping the Werner narrative last season, and depending on how things develop, teams around Europe will be keeping a close eye on the situation. Bayern are already being linked again, especially as they will have to deal with Robert Lewandowski getting closer to the final year of his contract.

The arrival of head coach Julian Nagelsmann, under whom Werner found so much success at RB Leipzig is a clear potential motivator as well, and in fact, according to Sport1, Werner is now Bayern’s primary target to replace Lewandowski, with Nagelsmann keeping in “regular contact” with the 25-year-old.

Bayern’s previous first-choice target had been Erling Braut Haaland (not exactly a big surprise), but with Haaland likely eyeing a move to Real Madrid or the Premier League, not to mention the astronomical costs involved, they have been compelled to step back. To wit, the Financial Times noted that any move for Haaland this past summer would have meant a commitment of over £500m over the next 5 years.

Werner would also not be a cheap acquisition, regardless of his success levels at Chelsea — currently earning over €15m in annual wages, plus a sizable transfer fee — but would certainly be more feasible. The foundations are certainly in place already for a future move.