June 18, 2020 / 9:37 AM / 22 days ago

Chelsea reach agreement to sign Werner from Leipzig

(Reuters) - Chelsea have made the first major transfer move ahead of next season after reaching an agreement with Germany’s highly-rated RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Bundesliga - Eintracht Frankfurt v RB Leipzig - Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany - January 25, 2020 RB Leipzig's Timo Werner applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

The Premier League club announced on Thursday that they had struck an agreement with Leipzig on a transfer fee and on personal terms with the player, who had been strongly linked with a move to European champions Liverpool.

Werner, 24, will remain at Leipzig until the end of the Bundesliga season and his transfer to the English side is subject to passing a medical.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed but British media reported Chelsea triggered a 50 million euros ($56.27 million) release clause to secure the Germany international’s services.

"I'm delighted to be signing for Chelsea, it's a very proud moment for me to be joining this great club," Werner said in a statement here

“I of course want to thank RB Leipzig, the club and the fans, for four fantastic years. 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.”

If not for the COVID-19 pandemic, the Premier League would already have started its summer transfer window. That will not now open until the season ends on July 26, although some players are out of contract at the end of June.

On Thursday, UEFA called on all member associations to adopt a harmonised end date to the upcoming summer transfer window, with this date set as Oct. 5 2020.

Werner, who started his senior career at VfB Stuttgart, moved to Leipzig in 2016 and has since scored 93 goals and grabbed 40 assists for the team who are currently third in the Bundesliga.

Chelsea had agreed in February to sign Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech from Ajax Amsterdam for an initial fee of 40 million euros.

Chelsea are fourth in the standings as the Premier League restarted its season on Wednesday after a 100-day hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They play their first game on Sunday at Aston Villa.

($1 = 0.8886 euros)

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis

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