The Timo Werner Conundrum

As the new 2019/20 Bundesliga season approaches, there is still one major burning question in the transfer window dominating the thoughts at RB Leipzig- Timo Werner. Or rather the future of Timo Werner.

With only eight days until die Roten Bullen kick off their league season with a fascinating trip to face newly promoted Union Berlin, the fate of their main goal getter is still very much up in the air.

Werner has been stalling on signing a new contract at the Red Bull Arena, much to the frustration of those at the top, who are all too aware that his deal expires at the end of the season, and they risk losing him for nothing.

It’s complicated

The whole situation is complicated, but not surprisingly involves a third element in a ‘love triangle’- everybody’s favourite bad guy Bayern Munich. Werner it seems has been delaying declaring his undying love for RB in the hope that the ‘prettier girl’ from Bavaria was going to make a move on him (or potentially the other pretty girl from Liverpool).

The stunner from England however showed no real interest as that particular dating window closed. Bayern for their part were playing the field and looking across at a certain Leroy Sane with more than just fluttering eyelashes. It looked like Uli Hoeness was going to sign the biggest cheque of his life (apart from the one he was forced to send to the taxman) for the Manchester City winger.

Werner could wait until next year and be snaffled up for nothing- typical Bayern.

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Not so fast. An injury to Sane in the English Community Shield put the cat amongst the pigeons and when it was revealed he had actually suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury, all bets were off. What now for Bayern, and what now for Timo Werner?

Hardball?

With all this going on, the management at Leipzig were understandably putting a little gentle pressure on Werner to commit without wanting to seem pushy. RB’s CEO Oliver Mintzlaff seemingly issued a semi-ultimatum in an interview with Goal. “It is desirable that we have a solution before the start of the league, and we can and want to comply with this timing.

“We are in constructive and good talks that will lead to a result. We have presented a contract offer to Timo and his consultant, we stand to that and we do not need to improve it.”

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So it comes down to a game of contract/ transfer poker. Do Bayern actually want Werner?  Will Leipzig actually countenance a deal with the devil, rather than losing him for nothing?

There are doubters of a Bayern persuasion, who believe Werner would struggle at the Allianz Arena and that Ivan Perisic, Hakim Ziyech or Steven Bergwijn would be better options.  Werner has the pace, but at Leipzig he takes advantage of swift counterattacks and struggles against sides that sit deep and deny space. That would be his reality at Bayern.

Then Leipzig face the issue of finding a goal scoring replacement should Werner actually depart. You’d have to imagine that Ralf Rangnick left a contingency plan for Julian Nagelsmann before he left for New York, but it is far from the ideal preparation days before the season begins.

Endgame

So with the clock ticking down, the answer to the Timo Werner conundrum nears. Whose court the ball is in, is anyone’s guess. Who moves first? Bayern, Werner, or Leipzig?

Tick, tock, tick…

 

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Mathew Burt

A year spent living in Bremen got Mathew hooked on the Bundesliga with regular visits to the Weser Stadion getting in the way of his studies. Back in the UK now, he still keenly follows the Grün-Weißen and German football in general. Follow him on Twitter @matburt74.

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