Liverpool need to agree a deal for RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner by the ‘end of April’ in order to take advantage of his relatively low release clause, according to a report from Germany.
The Reds have been quiet in recent transfer markets, with Adrian (free) and Takumi Minamino (£7.25m) their only additions this season.
Heavy expenditure in 2018 largely filled the gaps in a squad that is now top of the Premier League by 22 points in February. However, this summer may present another opportunity for Jurgen Klopp and the club’s recruitment chiefs to further strengthen their squad.
Timo Werner has long been identified as a player on Liverpool’s scouting radar, and while the common theme from those in the know is that the Reds aren’t expected to spend big for the sake of signing marquee names, they are interested in the right opportunity at the right price.
23-year-old Werner has been one of the Bundesliga’s finest forwards for several seasons and has 20 goals in 21 league outings so far in 2019/20.
Capable of playing through the middle or out wide, he is only one of two players in Europe’s ‘big five’ leagues who has both scored a hat-trick and made a hat-trick of assists this season – the other being Lionel Messi.
Speaking earlier this year, Werner sparked speculation by hinting that he would consider a move, saying: “What do you say if a club comes knocking in the next two weeks, a club which is one of the favourites to win the Champions League and makes an incredible offer? Most likely every player would think about it.”
He has also previously called the Premier League ‘the most interesting’ division in which to play.
Last month, Sport Bild made Liverpool favourites to sign the forward due to the Jurgen Klopp factor, while it is said that the RB Leipzig star has a release clause of around €60m (£51m) in his contract, which runs until 2023.
It is also thought that recruitment chief Michael Edwards has a good relationship with the Red Bull group following deals for both Naby Keita and Minamino.
However, journalist Christian Falk of Bild and Sport Bild claims that that release clause has an expiry date of the end of April, which may put pressure on the European champions to make a move ahead of the summer lest they get caught up in an auction for the player.
Falk also added in the replies to his tweet that Bayern Munich ‘won’t make an offer for Werner’.
I’d be very surprised. Just can’t see LFC paying £100m plus for him. Werner a cheaper and more likely option as reported last week.
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) February 13, 2020
Meanwhile, The Athletic’s James Pearce called a deal for Werner a ‘more likely option’ than Jadon Sancho, who is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer and has also been linked with Liverpool.
90min understands that Klopp and his bosses have not totally ruled out big-money moves this summer but have been so impressed by the likes of Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones that they are hesitant to do anything that would block their paths into the first team on a regular basis.
Werner’s largely central role – and potentially lower price tag – may mean that his signing is not seen as so disruptive to young stars like Eliott and Jones.