Timo Werner to Chelsea: Antonio Rudiger ‘played key role in deal’
Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger reportedly played a key role in the proposed deal to take RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner to Stamford Bridge.
Reports on Thursday revealed that Werner is on the brink of becoming Chelsea’s second signing of the summer after the Blues triggered his £53.8m release clause and agreed a five-year contract with the 24-year-old.
Frank Lampard’s side have seemingly beaten Premier League rivals Liverpool and Manchester United to the Germany international’s signature, and Bild reports that his compatriot Rudiger helped to convince him to move to West London.
Rudiger and Werner play with each other at international level and also know each other from their time together at Stuttgart.
The Chelsea defender reportedly talked up the quality of life at the club, while the promise of more regular first-team football also helped convince Werner to choose the Blues rather than waiting for Liverpool to make their move.
How Frank Lampard helped Chelsea pull off stunning Timo Werner transfer
Frank Lampard’s phone calls to Timo Werner paved the way for Chelsea to leapfrog Liverpool for the German international’s signature.
The Blues are set to complete a £53million deal for the RB Leipzig forward next week, with Werner joining on a long-term contract worth a reported £9million-a-year, making him one of the club’s highest-earners after bonuses.
Werner had made clear his desire to join Liverpool, but after the champions elect proved unwilling to meet his release clause, Chelsea swooped thanks to quick work from transfer chief Marina Granovskaia and Lampard’s personal interventions.
The Chelsea boss detailed to Werner exactly how he would fit into his plans, offering the 24-year-old the chance to immediately play a far more significant role in west London than Jurgen Klopp could have offered him at Anfield given the quality of the Reds’ front three of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah.
Werner’s signing proves a major coup for Lampard, who has made his intentions as Chelsea manager clear from the off.
From the day of his first press conference almost a year ago, Chelsea’s all-time top goalscorer has had Manchester City and Liverpool firmly in his sights.
The club’s transfer ban presented Lampard with a golden opportunity to turn to youth and blood the likes of Tammy Abraham, Mason Mount and Reece James, a trio who could form the core of a successful side for years to come. But as a player at Stamford Bridge, Lampard was never comfortable without fresh competition to push him to his limit and the club to the top, and he wants the same in his squad.