It has been a whirlwind of a few weeks on the transfer front for Bayern Munich. From bringing in Ivan Perisic, Philippe Coutinho, and Michaël Cuisance, to sending away Renato Sanches to allegedly turning away from potential moves for Espanyol defensive midfielder Marc Roca and Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic, the Bavarians have certainly found themselves involved in the news.
One player who reportedly wanted to play for Bayern Munich and patiently waited all summer for a move was RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner. Werner was closely tied to the Rekordmeister throughout the summer, but seemed to be put on the back-burner as Bayern Munich spent the majority of the summer chasing Manchester City’s Leroy Sane. Now, after much patience, RB Leipzig has seized the moment and inked Werner to a contract extension through 2023.
So, with the 23-year-old scoring threat and Germany international now tied to RB Leipzig for another four years, it is fair to ask why Werner signed a deal that he had reportedly walked away from several other times and what does this all mean for Bayern Munich?
Why did Werner sign the deal?
After several on-again and off-again ultimatums on a timeline to re-sign and multiple reports that Werner was “intent” on not sticking around Leipzig, there are several reasons why the high-scoring striker extended his contract and most are pretty simplistic:
- More money: Werner undoubtedly received a pay raise and who doesn’t want that?
- Stability: Werner seems to be a player who thrives on consistency and a stable environment. Adding years to his deal gives him the reassurance that he’s taken care of in the event of an injury and that he will continue to be an important component of the juggernaut that Julian Nagelsmann is building in East Germany.
- International commitment: It has been noted several times that Werner had offers to move abroad, but was not interested. Clearly his heart and mind are in Deutschland and part of that reason is because he is proving week-by-week that he is going to be a key player in Germany’s 2022 World Cup hopes.
- A Polish roadblock: No, this isn’t some kind of awkward and not-so-funny quip from Truly Tasteless Jokes Volume 77, but the acknowledgement that Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski is reportedly closing in on a contract extension of his own. Lewandowski, at 31, is so damn good and in such phenomenal shape that it is hard to think that another four years for him would be a bad investment.
What this means for Bayern Munich?
The news of Werner’s contract extension certainly offers some budgetary and roster implications:
- No more freebies: If Bayern Munich truly wants Werner and Werner still wants Bayern Munich, then the Bavarians will have to cough up approximately €30 million — the rumored release clause for Werner. In some ways, this could be viewed as good for the Bundesliga as critics have always hammered Bayern Munich for bringing in players from within the league on free transfers. Most recently, Leon Goretzka moved from Schalke 04 to Bayern Munich on a free deal.
- RB Leipzig just got more dangerous: Along with Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig was already one of Bayern’s most fierce competitors in the Bundesliga, but now the specter of a potential exit by Werner is gone from Die Roten Bullen’s locker room. With confidence, RB Leipzig can get back to business-as-usual knowing that it will have its main man fully committed to helping knock off the defending champions and Dortmund alike.
- The #ArpTrain could be here to stay: It has been an odd tenure for Fiete Arp in Munich so far. The 19-year-old showed great promise in the preseason, but has since been on the outside looking in. Perhaps Bayern has seen enough talent and versatility from Arp to think he can be a steady contributor as early as next season. As Arp generally plays the same positions (striker/wing) that Werner would occupy, Werner’s presence could have made Arp redundant.
We may know as soon as next summer if Werner’s decision was a long-term plan or a short-term pay bump, but it is clear that the days of grabbing Werner from the discount rack are long gone. If the Bavarians want to buy Werner, they’re going to have to dig into their pockets, which might not be so full given some of the other names the club has been linked to in what could be a very expensive summer of 2020.