Timo Werner transfer: Chelsea near signing of prolific RB Leipzig striker after Liverpool cool interest

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Chelsea have agreed to activate Timo Werner’s £49m release clause at RB Leipzig after Liverpool cooled interest in the Germany international.

Anfield had been the 24-year-old’s preferred destination, a fact he hasn’t concealed, but the Premier League pacesetters made no commitments over meeting his valuation.

Jurgen Klopp has been a long-time admirer of the forward and had a conversation with him around early April, in which he expressed that the financial implications of coronavirus rendered it hard for the club to accede to any huge outlays.

Liverpool were preparing for a relatively quiet summer before the pandemic hit, with their desire to be more measured ballooning given the unprecedented loss in income due to the suspension of football.

The priority has been to lock down Virgil van Dijk and Alisson for the long-term, while continuing to reward players that have delivered Champions League success and are close to ending a 30-year wait for the league title.

There was an appreciation that being prudent would open the door for rivals to pursue Werner with his clause expiring on 15 June, which Manchester United and Chelsea have both done. The latter have been more relentless in their approach and have offered Leipzig’s talisman triple his current wages.

Sources in Germany indicate to The Independent that Werner’s salary will rocket in excess of £10m a year, with a fee of £12m going to his agency.

Karlheinz Forster, the player’s representative, is understood to have held discussions with Leipzig on Thursday to inform them of Chelsea’s willingness to activate the clause.

Werner, who has scored 32 times this season, will be guaranteed more minutes at Stamford Bridge and was sold by Frank Lampard’s vision of rebuilding the club, which he will be a core part of.

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