In what seems like an odd strategy, RB Leipzig will reportedly raise the price on Timo Werner as the end of the transfer window nears. Werner, the 23-year-old Germany international who has been linked heavily to Bayern Munich, might not have an easy route out of East Germany if Die Roten Bullen follows through on that strategy.
The report by Bild (print edition) indicates that Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig have a €15 million difference in what each organization views as fair market value for Werner at this stage of the transfer window:
A transfer this summer could become significantly more expensive the later it gets. According to Bild’s information, Leipzig is now asking for €40 million for the striker (23/contract until 2020). Bayern has thus far yet to make an offer, but would probably want to pay only €25 million.
RB Leipzig opens play on Sunday against Union Berlin. As of now, it appears that Werner will be in the starting XI for new coach Julian Nagelsmann, who has been extremely patient with Werner throughout the process and has tried to help his player navigate the treacherous terrain of the transfer window.
If true, the strategy by RB Leipzig is certainly puzzling. Granted, this could all be a negotiating tactic as the transfer window enters crunch time, but if Die Roten Bullen follows through with that plan, it would risk losing Werner for nothing next summer. Can an organization that prides itself on its ability to drive revenue through selling off assets afford to risk losing Werner for free in 2020?
The East German club has set several different timeline “ultimatums” this summer and each deadline has been soundly dismissed and ignored by Werner. Perhaps, Leipzig’s ultimate plan is to use the next year to try and convince Werner to sign an extension, but that would be a very precarious situation for a club that typically would be reluctant to lose a young asset for free.
For as much back-and-forth as there has been with this transfer saga, Bayern Munich is, has been, and will remain in the driver’s seat. With no major pressure to get a deal done in this window, the Bavarians can easily wait until 2020 if they truly want the former VfB Stuttgart youth player.
If RB Leipzig wants to play hardball, Bayern Munich will likely be more than happy to take a walk this year and look forward to its next plate appearance with Werner in the summer of 2020.