Frank Lampard has been heavily involved in the move to bring Timo Werner to Chelsea from the very start. The Stamford Bridge cub had six months ago identified RB Leipzig striker Werner as one of the men they wanted to strengthen their attack when their transfer ban was lifted.
They knew they had competition, especially from Liverpool, and it looked at one stage as if Chelsea were going to lose out to Jurgen Klopp’s persuasive abilities.
But Lampard spoke to Werner several times on the phone and according to several sources, the Chelsea manager actually flew to Germany to talk to the RB striker and his representatives before the lockdown.
The five year £170,000 a week contract that Werner signed today, subject to a medical, and the £47.5 million deal that Chelsea clinched, are testament to a lot of background work over the past three months.
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Chelsea had already long earmarked Werner before they scouted him in Leipzig’s comprehensive 4-0 aggregate win over Tottenham in the Champions League.
But as soon as Liverpool wavered over the fee Leipzig wanted for the player, Chelsea moved swiftly, with director Marina Granovskaia clinching the deal rapidly.
Indications that the deal was close to being finalised came early the week when it was revealed that Werner had told Leipzig that he did not want to play for them after June 27, when the Bundesliga season ends – so he would miss the club’s Champions League quarter final.
But the deal was in fact tied up well before it was revealed Spain forward Pedro would be joining Roma in a two year deal, and is likely to not play for Chelsea again after his contract runs out on June 30. In fact, with Lampard this last month trying out other options in his wide positions, Pedro has more than likely played his last game for the club.
Werner scored his 26th goal of the Bundesliga campaign on Wednesday night against Fortuna Dusseldorf, and now only has two games left with Leipzig before he moves.
According to sources close to the player, he intends to come to London in July to begin work with Lampard and Chelsea and also settle himself in this country.
How he fits into Lampard’s team – with Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech having already arrived for a £38 million deal in February – will be interesting.
Werner likes to operate from a wide position on the left cutting inside, much like Thierry Henry, and though the German international can play through the middle, he likes to operate with a central striker ahead of or alongside him – which should leave room for Tammy Abraham to partner him in a new look Chelsea attack, if that is the way that Lampard chooses to play.
Chelsea’s buying has not finished this summer, with a move for Leicester left back Ben Chilwell next on the agenda – but with the Midlands club wanting around £80 million that deal still has some way to go.
And with Real Madrid strongly in for Bayer Leverkusen striker Kai Havertz – that deal too will need more work.
But Lampard and Granovskaia have hit the ground running this summer in the transfer market.
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Published at Thu, 18 Jun 2020 11:19:00 +0000