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Why Timo Werner rejected Liverpool in 2019: Was Bayern Munich responsible?

As we thought: Werner was expecting to move to Bayern last summer. It didn’t materialize.

FC Bayern Muenchen v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga Photo by DeFodi Images via Getty Images

One of the greatest mysteries in football at the moment is how Timo Werner hasn’t moved to a huge club yet. The RB Leipzig striker has been linked with Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and even Barcelona at times — but when it came time for him to move to the next level, no such transfer materialized. When Werner rumors reached a fever pitch in the summer of 2019, the player unexpectedly put an end to the speculation by signing a new contract with Leipzig.

While this new contract is rumored to come with a release clause, people are still asking why no one purchased him last year, when he was available for as low as 25 million euros. Liverpool were said to be very interested, with Jurgen Klopp noted to be a fan of the 24-year-old. So why did they not pounce? Well, it turns out that Bayern Munich might’ve had something to do with that.

According to both Raphael Honigstein and Christian Falk on Twitter, Werner had already agreed personal terms with Bayern that summer and was waiting for the club to make an offer. This is why he rejected Liverpool’s advances at the time. Thread below:

If both Falk and Honigstein agree on what happened, then you have to ask — why didn’t the deal go through? One must point the finger at Bayern’s dogged pursuit of Leroy Sané. The long-winded negotiations with Manchester City for the winger derailed any potential Werner acquisition in the summer of 2019, and it’s likely that the bosses weren’t particularly impressed with the German to begin with. The player eventually got fed up and extended his contract, but he rejected Liverpool in the meantime — likely expecting Bayern to make a move at some point.

This puts Werner’s recent comments to the media and his rumored transfer to Liverpool into context. It explains why he no longer seems interested in moving to Bayern, and is comfortable with saying that publicly. Bayern Munich has shown him little appreciation in the past year or so, so why would he keep holding out for a transfer that doesn’t appear to be materializing? Meanwhile, if Klopp is as interested as the media claim, Werner would be foolish to continue waiting for Bayern when he can move to another legitimate Champions League contender right away.

Opinion: Bayern handled this poorly

As someone who is a fan of Bayern Munich, this state of affairs leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. Why did the bosses agree to personal terms with Werner if they weren’t convinced of his quality? I understand that the chance to sign Sané was an unexpected development and required everyone’s full attention, but it appears that Werner was still led to believe his agreement would stand and the bosses would eventually make a move for him. The fact that he rejected Liverpool back then shows his commitment to the deal — so it’s a poor showing by Bayern to be the ones to back out.

Given that Bayern has a reputation for dealing with players in a fair and straightforward way, the Werner affair stands out as an aberration. The bosses don’t seem like they were fair or straightforward in their dealing with the player, and they took advantage of his trust. If I were Werner, I’d honestly be furious. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been against signing him from the very beginning. But just because I didn’t want Werner to join Bayern, doesn’t mean I can overlook the way he has been treated. He rejected Liverpool with the expectation that he would come here. Then we went back on the deal.

Hopefully, we get a more detailed explanation of what happened in the future, because at the moment, it looks like Bayern handled this very poorly.

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