Liverpool transfer news: The conditions that will lead to the Reds signing Timo Werner

Exclusive: The 23-year-old is a player the club have been impressed with and assessed for a long time, but he wouldn’t be a guaranteed starter

Melissa Reddy
Senior Football Correspondent
Monday 17 February 2020 12:42 GMT
Klopp looking ahead to Atlético with Norwich team selection

Jurgen Klopp remains a big admirer of Timo Werner, but Liverpool have not engaged with RB Leipzig over striking an agreement for the forward.

The Premier League leaders have long-assessed the 23-year-old, who aligns with the stylistic profile the recruitment team prioritise.

While Werner’s football attributes would complement the approach of the European champions, there are concerns over how the German international would adjust to not being an automatic starter at Liverpool.

The Anfield side’s excellent front three of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are expected to remain at the club and while sporting director Michael Edwards has begun the process of forward planning for the squad – with the Africa Cup of Nations also informing a small part of his thinking – there is an appreciation that the right signing also needs to be a patient one.

As detailed by The Independent, the recruitment team and Klopp subscribe to a ‘it’s not about the first three months, but the first three years’ policy and do detailed character assessments of how a player would cope with being out of the fold, as Andy Robertson and Fabinho were, for example, while absorbing the demands on and off the pitch at Liverpool.

While much has been made of the absence of Mane and Salah during AFCON, it should be stressed the club would not make a long-term decision based on the effects of a short competition.

Werner would effectively arrive on Merseyside initially as Firmino’s understudy, which is not an ideal position for Germany’s No.9.

If the player was willing to ease into his time at Liverpool and accept that he’d be part of a very successful unit and not at the core of it, Klopp and Edwards would pursue a deal at the right price.

Werner would be considerably cheaper than the likes of Jadon Sancho and Kylian Mbappe, whom the club have also done due diligence on.

Timo Werner could emerge as a target for Jurgen Klopp

There have been differing estimations over his release clause inserted into the contract extension he signed with Leipzig last summer and the terms around it.

Ultimately, though, a talent of his age being available for under £50m in an inflated market is good value if all the other important factors around a transfer could be ticked off.

Liverpool are not the only club monitoring Werner and while there are indications Bayern Munich have no intention to follow up long-held interest in him, he may be presented with a proposal of greater minutes and a greater role elsewhere.

Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has stated there have been no discussions with England’s pacesetters, but the Bundesliga title contenders are expecting to field several offers for the attacker and some of their other standout players like Marcel Sabitzer and Dayot Upamecano.

Liverpool, meanwhile, have also been linked to Norwich City midfielder Todd Cantwell. It would be remiss of the club not to keep track of a player of his profile, but he is not considered an active target as things stand.

There is a determination not to block the pathway for the starlets already at Anfield like Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott.

Liverpool anticipate being concretely associated with many of the names they are scouting as practice rather than with an immediate intention to recruit in the build-up to the summer.

Their approach to the transfer window will be to stick to the principles that have made them the dominant force in England and Europe, outlined in depth here.

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