Liverpool were close to taking the plunge on Timo Werner before coronavirus curtailed this season and potentially the transfer market for many upcoming windows.
That’s according to respected journalist Melissa Reddy, who was writing in the Independent about the chances of the German eventually signing for Liverpool.
As we know already, the 23-year-old is keen for a move – but whether Liverpool will now agree to the £50m-odd transfer fee is uncertain due to the financial implications COVID-19 has had on not only the club, but football in general.
“Liverpool were willing to sanction a deal at that cost, feeling it resembled the outlay spent on Firmino and Mane with inflation,” she writes.
“However, Covid-19 has removed surety from transfer planning as clubs cede income on an unprecedented level while not having any certainty over how this season and the next one will unfold.
“Liverpool had already been preparing for a relatively quiet summer before the crisis unless significant problems (an injury to a key player, a core asset pushing to leave) emerged.”
With football off the horizon, for at least the next month, the players have been training in isolation and will surely be desperate to get back on the field in order to wrap up the Premier League title – with JurgenKlopp’s Reds a whopping 25 points clear with nine games to play.
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Werner’s Rb Leipzig were competing with Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga, and he’ll hope to fire his side to a first ever title himself following football’s resumption.
The Bundesliga wants to return behind closed doors, but is waiting on a confirmation from the German government.
Similarly, the Premier League has plans to finish the 2019/20 season, especially following the backlash seen in Holland and France – two countries who nulled and cancelled their campaigns respectively.
Clubs who have been relegated or missed out on the Champions League are furious and there will only be more controversy if England does the same.
That’s not on the horizon, though. Football is currently being penned in for an early June return – which will allow the competition to finish halfway through July and allow the players a short holiday before pre-season.
Obviously, we’re working on changing guidelines right now. But if the country fights its way out of the pandemic and football’s finances are not as heavily affected as first-feared, there’s far more chance of Werner signing.