RB Leipzig have held talks with Chelsea striker Timo Werner after the German was granted permission to find himself a new club, 90min can confirm.
Werner has struggled to replicate the form from his Leipzig days since moving to Chelsea, managing 23 goals in 89 appearances to date, and he has already gone public with his disappointment towards his lack of minutes.
With the World Cup coming up later this year, Werner wants regular game time and does not believe he will be handed that at Chelsea, and sources have confirmed to 90min that he is now looking for a new club.
Chelsea are prepared to part ways with Werner, having already brought in Raheem Sterling for £47.5m, and his representatives have offered him to a number of sides across Europe, including Leipzig, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Newcastle, AC Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid.
Of those sides, however, it is Werner’s former employers who are currently leading the race for his signature. Leipzig have held talks with the 26-year-old, who is keen to make a return to the club with whom he scored 28 goals in just 34 games over his final season in 2019/20.
As was the case with wantaway striker Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea are open to sending Werner out on loan but have warned the German that he must take a significant pay cut to force through the move – something he is prepared to do.
Any loan deal would likely include an option to buy permanently, but talks remain ongoing over such a clause.
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These conversations between Chelsea and Leipzig have focused on Werner and have not included defender Josko Gvardiol, who the Blues have identified as a possible centre-back target this summer.
Leipzig have made it clear to Chelsea that they do not want to sell the 20-year-old, who is one of the most in-demand defenders around.
Gvardiol is one of several names on Chelsea’s defensive shortlist, alongside Leicester’s Wesley Fofana, Villarreal’s Pau Torres, Inter’s Milan Skriniar, PSG’s Presnel Kimpembe and Bayern Munich duo Dayot Upamecano and Benjamin Pavard.