Manchester United could snatch Red Bull Leipzig’s Timo Werner from under their rival’s nose as Liverpool and the German side remain poles apart on a transfer fee.
Werner is one of the hottest properties in world football. He has scored 30 goals and registered 12 assists in 39 games for Red Bull Leipzig this season, an incredible goal involvement average of over 1 per game.
Whilst most of the newspaper attention has always been on Werner’s potential move to Liverpool, United are known to have spoken to the player to try to convince him to come to Old Trafford and the 24-year-old publicly stated that he was considering a move to United.
But The Athletic’s David Ornstein claimed recently that Werner, who has already turned down Bayern Munich, has his heart set on Anfield.
The striker has a release clause of just £49 million that must be triggered by June 15th. If it is not, the next release clause only comes into effect next summer.
However, The Mirror now reports that Liverpool aren’t willing to go above £30 million for the 24-year-old – way below that clause – and have ‘withdrawn from transfer talks’.
Meanwhile, Red Bull’s chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff has warned that Werner won’t be bought for less. Speaking to Sport Bild, the director said:
‘It won’t get any cheaper. We will not sell a player below value if he is under contract for more than a year.
‘In general, we always have to ask the following question – can we replace a player if we sell him for less than his market value?’
This leaves the door open for United to come in and match the release clause of £49 million before June 15th. If they do so, as things stand, they would be unopposed. But the question is now whether Werner really does have his heart set on Liverpool and would be willing to wait another year in the hopes of moving to Anfield, or whether he remains open to joining United.
Another issue is whether the Red Devils would want to sign a player knowing that they were second choice to their arch rivals.
With the buyout deadline just 18 days away, we do not have long to wait to find out the answer to these questions.
United might have to finish their Premier League season at neutral grounds as the authorities try to ensure player safety. How much do you know about those neither-home-nor-away games the Red Devils have played in the past? Take our quiz below to find out.