Antonio Rudiger has reportedly played a crucial role in Chelsea’s move to beat Liverpool to the signing of RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.
The Londoners have emerged as the favourites to land in-demand Werner after offering the forward a bumper £200,000-per-week contract.
Liverpool were widely believed to lead the race for the Germany international earlier this season, with Manchester United also believed to be in the running.
But given the current financial climate amid the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Reds were not willing to activate the striker’s £50million release clause which expires this month.
Chelsea, on the other hand, have money to spend this summer – but they have also had a secret weapon at their disposal in their German defender Rudiger.
He and Werner know each other from their days at Stuttgart, as well as time spent on international duty.
And Rudiger has been in contact with his Germany team-mate throughout Chelsea’s courtship of the forward, according to German publication Bild.
Rudiger has reportedly been talking up life in west London, and that has helped convinced Werner to make Chelsea his next move.
Metro reports that Chelsea had another advantage over Liverpool, with Werner reportedly believing he has a better chance of earning a first-team place in Frank Lampard’s side.
While Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is believed to view Werner as a perfect fit for his side, the 24-year-old would face a challenge breaking into the Reds’ fearsome front line of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.
Chelsea are in the market for a player who can play wide in a front three or through the middle, which makes Werner an ideal option.
He could either line up alongside Tammy Abraham, or could provide another option for Chelsea rather than the emerging young England centre forward.
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Chelsea are also targeting a left-back, with Leicester’s Ben Chilwell on their list, and the England defender is believed to be tempted by the prospect of a move to Stamford Bridge.
Werner has smashed an impressive 25 goals in 29 Bundesliga appearances this season, plus a further four in eight Champions League games. He has also chipped in with 12 assists in all competitions.
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