Bayern Munich target Timo Werner has officially extended his contract with RB Leipzig until 2023. The announcement was made by Leipzig just an hour prior to kickoff against their opening home match of the season against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Prior to the extension, Werner’s contract with Leipzig was set to expire in the summer of 2020, meaning that he could have left on a free transfer at that time had he not signed an extension with Leipzig. Negotiations for his contract renewal went on for what seemed like forever, as Julian Nagelsmann and Leipzig’s front office were very eager to get him to sign an extension to commit his future to the club.
Per kicker, Werner has been guaranteed a significant salary increase and Bayern would now have to pay a considerable exit clause fee to bring him to Munich prior to 2023. Details on the amount of the fee were not revealed, but kicker estimates that it’s somewhere around the €30 million mark.
Werner said it was important for him to stay in Leipzig to take the next steps in his career:
I am glad that I have signed with RB Leipzig and so extended my contract. Of course, this process dragged on for a very long time, but I really wanted to be completely sure that I could take the next steps in my development at this club. And to make the right decisions, now and then you just need a little more time. Now I can concentrate fully on playing as successful a season as possible with our team.
Leipzig’s managing director Oliver Mintzlaff and sporting director Markus Krösche were two of the key players in getting Werner and his agent, Karlheinz Förster, to agree to a contract extension. The negotiations between all parties may have taken most of the summer, but nonetheless, Leipzig has ensured that they’ll now keep hold of one of their best players for a little bit longer. Mintzlaff described his delight at the negotiations finally being complete:
We are glad that the negotiations with Timo Werner have now come to a positive conclusion, and he has decided to extend the contract with us. We have had many intense discussions over a long period of time and have taken great pains over Timo and conveyed our high regard to him. We’re glad that we now have clarity and are happy that Timo will remain an important part of our team.
For Bayern, they’ll now have to reassess whether or not they still want to pursue Werner and if they’ll be willing to pay the release clause prior to 2023. They had the upper hand before the contract extension because Werner would have been able to leave on a free transfer next summer, but Leipzig did not want that to happen, especially for a player of such high value.
Whether Bayern acquires Leroy Sane from Manchester City in the winter transfer window might play a part in their decision making and planning for Werner as well. Despite Bayern’s interest being clear, kicker reports that the only concrete offer for Werner over the summer came from Atletico Madrid, who were willing to pay upwards of €40 million, but Werner did not want to leave Germany.