Barely an hour goes by in which there isn’t some kind of ‘update’ on Liverpool‘s apparent interest in Timo Werner – but trying to find any kind of new or insightful information on the transfer saga is a remarkably difficult task.
We say transfer saga, but that would suggest some official communications between Liverpool and RB Leipzig of which we are all aware. In reality, the vast majority of articles published about Werner are based on very little at all – and are often simply regurgitated versions of the article you read on a different website an hour earlier.
So have there been any actual developments in this story? Well, you can stop trawling through NewsNow because we’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up what every major news outlet has said about what is sure to be the will-he-won’t-he-story of the summer.
It’s not the news that Liverpool fans wanted to hear and certainly not the news the gossipmongers wanted to hear, but the well-connected James Pearce reported on May 19 that Liverpool ‘are unlikely to make any major signings this summer’ owing to the financial damage caused by COVID-19.
Still, unlikely doesn’t mean definitely not so we can safely assume the Werner ‘updates’ are going to keep on coming.
Indeed, Pearce’s most recent exclusive follows him telling The Red Agenda podcast that Werner “has his heart set” on a move to Anfield, a message backed up by the equally well-connected David Ornstein back on The Athletic on May 15, reporting that Werner only wants to join Liverpool and will remain at Leipzig for another year if a transfer can’t be agreed this summer
That is despite interest from Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea too. So all Liverpool now need to do is decide they can, in fact, afford to part with £52million to meet his release clause. That actually expires on June 15, but The Athletic reported the possibility of that cut-off date being pushed back – along with everything else in football.
Financial reality of COVID-19 for #LFC & impact on transfer plans.
⚽️ No matchday £ expected into 2021
⚽️ Media £ dropping due to TV rebates
⚽️ Commercial £ hit by uncertainty over sponsors/retail
⚽️ No lucrative friendlies/lower offers for fringe starshttps://t.co/O8CHlUlSiY
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) May 20, 2020
Whether outlets have genuine information from inside the club or are simply doing some educated guesswork is open to debate, but David Maddock, another with strong links on Merseyside, reported way back on May 1 that Liverpool ‘will look to cut their spending as much as possible in light of dramatically reduced incomes.’
That, Maddock writes, will mean ‘withdrawing their interest in Werner, and waiting to see if he becomes available at a much smaller sum, possibly next summer.’
You might wonder what a French publication is doing reporting on a Premier League club’s interest in a Bundesliga player, but Le 10 Sport published an exclusive on May 19 which claims Jurgen Klopp has called Werner ‘several times’ to explain his ambitions and plan for the forward at Anfield.
They do, however, suggest that Werner’s arrival would depend on either Sadio Mane, courted by Real Madrid, or Mohamed Salah departing to make space in the front three. Both players will be given the same option, Le 10 Sport say: extend your contracts or leave.
You might think Liverpool’s local newspaper would be an easy place to find concrete updates, but a “Timo Werner” + “Liverpool Echo” Google returns 249,000 results so we’re going to suggest there’s a bit of filler in there.
However, the latest article from chief Liverpool writer Ian Doyle on Thursday took a similar line to those in The Athletic and Daily Mirror, claiming the likely big decrease in the values of players they were planning to sell this summer will ‘compromise Liverpool’s approach’.
The Reds, the Echo says, were banking on significant sums from selling players such as Xherdan Shaqiri, Dejan Lovren and Harry Wilson to provide money for a marquee signing like Werner, but such fringe men ‘may become less valuable in financial terms to a point where Liverpool may consider instead keeping them on’, Doyle writes.
Scour as you might, you’re unlikely to find a great deal that offers anything above and beyond what’s been reported in the aforementioned four outlets.
But when has not having anything to add ever stopped a good transfer story?
On the back of the updates about the decrease in revenue from sales threatening the Werner deal, for example, several outlets spun the story on its head to concoct some very enticing headlines.
‘Liverpool to fund Timo Werner deal by selling three players’ – ESPN.
‘Three players Liverpool hope to sell to fund Timo Werner transfer move’ – Daily Mirror.
‘Liverpool put three players up for sale to fund Timo Werner summer transfer’ – Daily Express.
‘Liverpool to sell THREE players to fund Werner signing’ – talkSPORT.
‘The four Liverpool stars that Liverpool could sell to finance Timo Werner transfer’ – CaughtOffside.
Complete rubbish, sure, but enticing nonetheless.
Then there are headlines like Football Insider’s ‘Man United conference call reveal may end Liverpool hopes of signing Werner’. You certainly couldn’t be blamed for clicking, but the crux of the story is that United have estimated a loss due to the pandemic of £23million so far.
Presumably the message here is that Liverpool learning of their rivals’ loss will make them realise they can’t afford Werner. They obviously haven’t been keeping track of their own books.
But with no actual news likely anytime soon – and the very real possibility that Liverpool won’t sign Werner at all this year – you can expect a hell of a lot more of this bullshit for months to come.