Bayern Munich have suffered a major blow in their efforts to bring in Timo Werner from RB Leipzig after the striker signed a new contract only during the weekend. Werner had emerged as a major transfer target for Bayern considering that his contract was about to expire next summer. After having picked up a number of top players – like Robert Lewandowski and Leon Goretzka – on free transfers, Bayern were hoping to repeat the magic next summer.
Werner has been one of the top players in German football outside the Bayern Munich setup. After coming through the ranks at Stuttgart, the forward made the switch to RB Leipzig in 2016 for around €10 million. The undisputed potential within the 23-year-old started blossoming over the last few years. Since joining RB Leipzig, Werner has scored more than 20 goals in two out of the last three seasons. Even last season, he came close to breaking the 20-goal barrier after hitting 19 goals in 37 games.
His form for RB Leipzig has not gone unnoticed and a German call up came about in 2017. Werner has since featured in 25 games for the national team and he has scored 10 goals in the process. Any uncertainty ahead of the Euro 2020 tournament would have meant a drop in form. It might have played a major role in convincing Werner to stay at the Red Bull Arena rather than being sold in a cut-price deal to Bayern.
There are plenty of offers for the player to make a move abroad, but they were rejected in order to stay firmly in the eyes of Joachim Loew and the German national team. The contract also allows the player to become a key part of the team under the Julian Nagelsmann.
After losing key players like Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery over the summer, Bayern have been able to make decent signings. The arrivals of Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard were crucial in adding to the morale, while the loan signings of Philippe Coutinho – which is likely to be made permanent next summer – and Ivan Perisic have gone a huge way towards compensating for the loss of experienced campaigners.
Yet, Werner would have been a great acquisition for Bayern and it would also have meant the weakening of a rival. Even though RB Leipzig have not been able to put together a sustained a title challenge with Bayern, they are still a threat nonetheless. RB Leipzig and Dortmund are seen as some of the teams with potential to challenge Bayern for the title.
The inability to bring Werner is one of the several disappointments for the Bayern over the summer. The club went all out to bring in Leroy Sane from Manchester City even if it meant parting with a £140 million of the transfer budget. However, the move fell through due to the player picking up a long-term injury.
Niko Kovac has seen his team once again make an indifferent start to the season, as Bayern opened the season with a 2-2 draw against Hertha Berlin. The team recovered to have a comprehensive 3-0 win over Schalke during the weekend.