Premier League giants Chelsea have announced another major piece of transfer business ahead of the 2020-21 season, with RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner set to join the club in July.
Chelsea released a statement on Thursday confirming earlier reports that the Germany international had agreed a move to Stamford Bridge, subject to passing a medical.
Werner, 24, has been prevented from attending a medical with Chelsea due to the coronavirus pandemic, but the move looks certain after he spoke of his excitement to be joining the west Londoners:
Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia was “very excited” about the club’s latest signing having announced the capture of Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech back in February:
“We are very excited that Timo Werner has chosen to join Chelsea. He is a player who was coveted all over Europe and it is no surprise, he has that rare mix of being young and exciting and yet established and proven. We can’t wait to have Timo on board, but until then we wish him and RB Leipzig all the best for the rest of this season.”
The timing of the transfer means Werner will not participate in Leipzig’s UEFA Champions League campaign when the 2019-20 competition resumes in August. Julian Nagelsmann’s side beat Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 on aggregate to reach the tournament’s quarter-finals for the first time, though their star forward will be missed when play resumes in Lisbon, Portugal.
His current employers wished the attacker well as he begins the last leg of his tenure at the Red Bull Arena, highlighting his experience in scoring against Chelsea most bitter Premier League rivals:
Leipzig signed Werner from hometown club Stuttgart in June 2016 for €10 million, though ESPN FC’s James Olley reported his Chelsea transfer is expected to cost more than five times that fee at €53 million ($59 million).
He’s gone on to score 93 goals in 157 appearances for the German club and has been critical in their rise to Bundesliga title contention. Werner netted in a 2-2 draw at home to Fortuna Dusseldorf on Wednesday to cement his place as one of his country’s greatest modern scorers:
Former Chelsea and New York Red Bulls winger Shaun Wright-Phillips told American Gambler he felt Werner will be a fine addition at Stamford Bridge, along with Ziyech:
"I think Lamps has done tremendously there, he’s a great player. He is hungry for goals and it gives Lamps the option there, and with Ziyech in there, Chelsea’s front three is looking very strong. As you can see, he’s having a nice mix of maturity and young talent, and it’s very hard to go wrong with that."
Neither Werner nor Ziyech will be permitted to play for Chelsea during the 2019-20 season despite arriving in July. Frank Lampard is sure to benefit from their early arrivals, however, giving the pair time to bed in given this year’s summer break will be substantially shorter than usual.
The latest signing will be expected to compete against Chelsea product Tammy Abraham for the striker role, though Werner has proved capable of playing out wide—mostly on the left flank—as well.