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Julian Nagelsmann Wants to Retain Timo Werner Amid Bayern Munich Rumours

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistAugust 19, 2019

OSNABRUECK, GERMANY - AUGUST 11: Timo Werner of RB Leipzig looks on during the DFB Cup first round match between VfL Osnabrueck and RB Leipzig at Stadion an der Bremer Brücke on August 11, 2019 in Osnabrueck, Germany. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann has said he wants to keep Timo Werner at the club despite reports he intends to see out the last year of his contract before a possible free transfer to Bayern Munich in 2020.

Nagelsmann has taken over as Leipzig coach after three-and-a-half years at the helm of Hoffenheim, and it would be considered a coup if he could convince Werner to stay at the Red Bull Arena.

Werner scored on Sunday as Leipzig opened their Bundesliga campaign with a 4-0 win at Union Berlin.

Nagelsmann spoke at a press conference after the result and said: "Of course we want to keep him, he is an important, good player and in my head he is my player. He will know for himself what is most important for his career."

Werner was said to have indicated in April that he didn't want to sign another contract at Leipzig, and Bild (h/t Goal's Ronan Murphy) recently reported the forward planned to honour that intent:

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

Timo Werner will wind down his contract and leave RB Leipzig on a free transfer next summer, according to Bild. Bayern Munich is his likely destination. #RBL #FCBayern

Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche also addressed reporters and said Leipzig "did everything" in their attempts to convince the player to stay, per Goal:

"There's nothing to say about this. He's with us - we've been saying the same thing for weeks because that is the case. There's definitely going to be a decision in the coming days, Timo Werner and his advisor want that too.

"That's Timo's decision, we did everything as a club and we gave him all the appreciation we can give as a club.

"He's a player in this squad, and we've seen today [vs Union Berlin] how much he can help us achieve our goals."

Werner, 23, scored 19 goals in 37 appearances for Leipzig last term, his worst return for the club since joining from Stuttgart in 2016. He netted 21 goals in each of the two previous campaigns and would be a difficult figure to replace, particularly if they don't receive a fee for his departure.

German football podcaster James Thorogood recently predicted Werner will win the Bundesliga's top-scorer award in 2019-20:

James Thorogood 🎙️⚽️ @JMThorogood

Champion: Borussia Dortmund Top 4: Dortmund, Bayern, Leipzig & Leverkusen Top goalscorer: Timo Werner Most assists: Jadon Sancho Surprise package: Freiburg Best transfer: Kerem Demirbay https://t.co/VGvzh8NDqm

The stars appear like they could align for Bayern, too, considering star striker Robert Lewandowski will turn 32 in August 2020, at which point he'll have less than one year remaining on his contract.

That would give Werner at least one season to play alongside Lewandowski before possibly taking over his mantle, though there's no indication Die Roten see him as worthy of that position.

Murphy cited previous reports indicating how much Bayern were willing to pay for the striker this summer:

Ronan Murphy @swearimnotpaul

Bayern Munich are not willing to match RB Leipzig’s asking price of €40m for Timo Werner, and are only willing to pay up to €25m, according to Bild. #FCBayern #RBL

Werner has often taken up positions on the wing for club and country, with some arguing the attacker's pace is better utilised on the flanks.

He will be free to sign a pre-contract with non-German clubs as of January, though Nagelsmann's comments appear to suggest he retains hope the forward will extend his stay at Leipzig.

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