Chelsea FC isn’t waiting to take care of its summer transfer business.
The Blues announced Thursday they’ve agreed to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner on a five-year contract. The 24-year old will remain with RB Leipzig for the remainder of the Bundesliga (German league) season, which will end June 27. He’ll officially join Chelsea next month but won’t play for the Blues until the start of the 2020-21 Premier League season.
“I am delighted to be signing for Chelsea, it is a very proud moment for me to be joining this great club. I of course want to thank RB Leipzig, the club and the fans, for four fantastic years,” Werner told Chelsea’s website. “You will forever be in my heart. I look forward to next season with my new team-mates, my new manager and of course the Chelsea fans. Together we have a very successful future ahead of us.”
Chelsea has agreed to trigger the £45 million (?50 million/$54 million) release clause Werner’s RB Leipzig contract contains, according to Sky Sports. He’ll become Chelsea’s second signing of the summer 2020 transfer window, joining Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech among new recruits. Werner will be expected to bolster the Blues’ forward line, either as a center forward or a left-sided winger.
Werner has developed into one of soccer’s most prolific, and in-demand, strikers in recent years. He has scored 32 goals and has 13 assists in 43 games in all competitions this season for RB Leipzig. Rumors had linked Werner with Liverpool, Barcelona and other top clubs, but Chelsea ultimately secured his services.
The timing of his transfer also will rule him out of the remainder of RB Leipzig’s and Chelsea’s respective UEFA Champions League campaigns, which will resume and culminate in August with the conclusion of the Round of 16 followed by a “Final Eight” tournament.