RB Leipzig star Timo Werner helped his squad open their season with a 4-0 victory over Union Berlin by contributing a 42nd minute goal on Sunday. Still, the cloud of his summer-long flirtation with Bayern Munich has hung over the player and club alike and was among the hot topics after the game.
Süddeutsche Zeitung spoke to RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann and sporting director Markus Krösche, who both re-stated their interest in having the 23-year-old extend his contract. Nagelsmann, who subbed Werner off in the 65th minute, stated that he wants Werner to remain with the club:
He is an important player, had great one-on-one situations, has a lot of speed and scored a great goal. We need him. I hope he stays.
Süddeutsche Zeitung insinuated that Werner was shocked by the early substitution, but was later put at ease by Nagelsmann’s praise of his play. Still, one must wonder if Werner waffling on his future could eventually lead to Nagelsmann using his star striker less over the course of the season.
The Süddeutsche Zeitung report also indicated that Werner had already decided weeks ago against moving to Bayern Munich this summer. While there was no formal reason stated, Süddeutsche Zeitung implied that Werner had followed Bayern Munich’s courtship of Manchester City’s Leroy Sane and felt pushed aside:
So much is certain that Werner will at least stay in Leipzig in the 2019/20 season. On Sunday evening, the match in Berlin-Köpenick had just ended and the newspaper Bild reported that FC Bayern had finally cancelled plans for Werner for this summer. When the report was forwarded, a detail was lost that is quite important: Werner himself had already abandoned the idea of going to Munich weeks ago. He had followed the aggressive, public courtship of the Bavarians for Leroy Sane (Manchester City) very closely — and felt put off in a way that he, the center forward of the German national team, did not feel comfortable with.
Werner’s disappointment at Bayern’s laser focus on Sane is not something that is new. There was speculation from the German media earlier in the summer that Werner was feeling left out, while the Bavarians directed all of their attention on Sane.
Süddeutsche Zeitung also backed up previous reports that a move abroad is still not in the cards for Werner. If he is going to transfer — whether it is this summer or next — it is likely going to be a domestic destination:
(Werner) had attracted the interest of top addresses such as Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid and AS Roma in the summer. According to all that is known about Werner, a move abroad is not a question for him at the present time. At the age of 23, he imagines himself to be at an age at which he can and will continue to develop in Germany.
Despite the public nature of the transfer saga and Werner’s unwillingness to commit to Die Roten Bullen, Krösche insisted that his club is still intent on trying to get Werner to stay in East Germany:
This is Timo’s decision. We have done everything and have shown him all the respect that one can give as a club. We absolutely want to extend with him. Even today, we could see that he can help us tremendously to achieve our goals.
Krösche went on to say that a quick resolution is best for both parties:
There will definitely be a decision in the next few days, either way. One doesn’t want to draw this into infinity and (Werner’s advisors) see it the same way.