RB Leipzig CEO Says Timo Werner Will Be Sold If He Doesn't Agree New Contract

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2019

Leipzig´s forward Timo Werner celebrates scoring during the German first division Bundesliga football match between RB Leipzig and Werder Bremen in Leipzig, eastern Germany on December 22, 2018. (Photo by ROBERT MICHAEL / AFP) / RESTRICTIONS: DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO        (Photo credit should read ROBERT MICHAEL/AFP/Getty Images)
ROBERT MICHAEL/Getty Images

Oliver Mintzlaff, the chief executive for Bundesliga side RB Leipzig, has said star forward Timo Werner will be sold in the summer if he doesn't agree a new contract with the club.

The Germany international is rated as one of the most exciting young forwards in the game, having excelled for Leipzig since joining the club in 2016 from VfB Stuttgart.

Speaking about the player, Mintzlaff said the club need a show of commitment from the 22-year-old or they will look to cash in, per Kicker (h/t The Independent).

"Of course, we have to know at the latest after the end of the season," he said of Werner's deal, which is poised to expire at the end of the 2019-20 campaign.

He continued:

"A club like us cannot afford to go with Timo Werner in a final contract year. But as long as we develop as a club, and of course the Champions League participation would be very helpful, I believe that Werner is still in good hands with us.

"If Timo does not strive for the highest possible salary, then it would be a good investment in his sporting future."

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RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff is seen prior to the start of the German first division Bundesliga football match Borussia Dortmund v RB Leipzig in Dortmund, western Germany, on August 26, 2018. (Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN / AFP) / RESTRICTIONS: DFL REGUL
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As The Independent noted, Premier League leaders Liverpool have consistently been linked with a move for Werner. 

In addition, the Germany starlet also spoke about a possible move to Bayern earlier this season. "There are other clubs in the picture," he told Sky Sports Germany (h/t Goal). "If you play in Germany and want to stay in Germany, there is only one club in question."

Werner endured a tough 2017-18 season, and despite being tipped for big things at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, he faltered under the bright lights of a major tournament.

However, he has responded from that setback well and has enjoyed his most prolific start to a Bundesliga campaign:

Given his age, his raw speed and his ability in front of goal, it's not a shock Leipzig are keen to keep Werner around for a while yet. It's also no surprise to see teams of the calibre of Liverpool and Bayern linked with him.

Should he go into the summer without agreeing an extension, there's also a chance that Leipzig would have to accept a knockdown fee for his services, which would be a major blow for the German club.

Since their promotion to the top flight, the striker has consistently been the team's most dependable source of goals:

For Liverpool or Bayern, a player of Werner's calibre would be a fine signing. While he may still have to work at certain areas of his game—most notably his play with his back to goal—when he has space to surge into, his natural attacking instincts are clear to see.

Having noted there are clubs interested in signing him, the forward may be hesitant about putting pen to paper with Leipzig, as the prospect of a new challenge at a European juggernaut would no doubt be appealing. For his current employers, that will be a big problem.