RB Leipzig are reportedly leading the race to sign Timo Werner as Chelsea meet with the Bundesliga side to propose a swap deal for a top defensive target.
Rumours of an exit for Werner have accelerated in recent days after Thomas Tuchel took umbrage with the striker’s comments on preseason tour.
Werner said he could be “happy everywhere” when asked about his future at Chelsea as long as he plays games and scores goals, leading Tuchel to insist the forward must “show quality” to earn more frequent minutes in the starting XI.
The Chelsea boss did deny claims Werner would be on the move, claiming the Germany international still needs to “prove a point” at Stamford Bridge.
“I don’t know about it,” Tuchel said when asked about Werner’s possible departure. “In this moment I think he wants to make his way at Chelsea. He has still to prove a point.”
But the German manager’s comments haven’t quelled the transfer speculation, with Newcastle, Juventus and Real Madrid joining RB Leipzig in being heavily linked, while a report on Monday also put Arsenal forward as a potential option for the forward.
But Fabrizio Romano says RB Leipzig are in front of Juventus, and presumably the other supposedly interested parties, in the race for Werner.
The transfer expert tweeted: ‘Leipzig are now pushing more than Juventus for Timo Werner, after the meeting with Chelsea on Sunday – still waiting to see if there’s room for a swap deal.
‘He’s the main target for RB Leipzig, leading the race over Juventus. No direct talks yet with Newcastle.’
Chelsea would likely be keen to do business with the Bundesliga side if they were willing to include Josko Gvardiol – one of their top defensive targets this summer – in the deal, but Romano says Leipzig ‘insist they want to keep him’.
Chelsea ‘had a direct meeting with RB Leipzig on Sunday to discuss swap deal ideas’, with Blues owner Todd Boehly ‘ready to let Werner leave on loan’.
Boehly has been a busy boy and was looking to make ground in a deal for a potential replacement for Werner over the weekend, as he met with the agent of £55m Manchester United target Benjamin Sesko.
The Blues are also thought to be close to completing a £50m deal for Brighton full-back Marc Cucurella.
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