Chelsea beat off competition from Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Juventus to sign one of the best players in the world
According to one agent, Chelsea have just signed a £100m player for £50m.
Timo Werner is one of the best forwards in the world and in normal circumstances he would be moving to England for a Premier League record fee.
The pandemic and a relatively low release clause mean Chelsea have been able to pull off a deal they had little chance of completing just a few months ago.
Last summer, Werner almost joined Bayern Munich for €30m (£27m). Not everyone at Bayern was convinced they should buy him though and he ended up signing a contract extension at RB Leipzig with a €50m (£45m) release clause which ran out on Monday.
That is not surprising considering there has been a buzz around Werner ever since he became a teenager and started scoring prolifically for Stuttgart’s age group sides. Bayern, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona have been watching his progress closely for the past decade and this year Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan have all also held talks about signing him.
‘Abramovich making Chelsea great again’
Chelsea, though, are the only club who put their money on the table.
United were interested but their priority signing this summer is Jadon Sancho. The Spanish and Italian clubs would not have hesitated to pay the release fee in normal circumstances, but they have other targets they believe they can sign this summer using swap deals to bring prices down to more affordable levels.
None of that matters as far as Chelsea and their fans are concerned. They have got their man and it looks like Chelsea are going places again. Frank Lampard was able to convince Werner Chelsea was the right club for him to take the next step in his career.
When you factor in Werner’s wages of £200,000 a week, Chelsea are investing a total of £100m on Werner. After two windows with no signings, Chelsea have made a real statement of intent in 2020. A £34m deal has already been agreed for Hakim Ziyech to join from Ajax next month and Chelsea also still want Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen and Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell.
Chelsea have won more trophies in English football than anyone else since Roman Abramovich bought the club 17 years ago, but questions were being asked about the Russian billionaire’s commitment as Manchester City and Liverpool established themselves as the two most dominant forces in English football.
Those questions are now being answered. Like all good businessmen, Abramovich has spotted an opportunity in the market to make Chelsea great again.
It’s all a far cry from just two years ago when the Home Office delayed renewing his visa and £1bn plans to redevelop Stamford Bridge were put on hold.