Timo Werner could easily have been lining up on the other side tonight when Chelsea visit Anfield in the Premier League. Instead the German international will be looking to make his mark against the Reds, in what is a crucial game in the race for top-four.
A year ago, Liverpool had identified Werner as their top target heading into the summer transfer window.
Jurgen Klopp was keen to bring in another frontman with the African Cup of Nations – which was later cancelled – on the horizon in 2021.
Yet it soon became clear that Liverpool were struggling to cope with the financial implications of the coronavirus crisis and loss of matchday revenue.
Werner is said to have sat down to speak with Klopp via Zoom and the Liverpool boss reassured Werner that Liverpool would be making their move.
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The Liverpool board had confirmed to Klopp that the club did not have the finances to pursue the deal and the German informed his compatriot.
“All clubs are losing money,” Klopp told Sky Germany at the time. “How do I discuss with the players about things like salary waivers and on the other hand buy a player for £50-60m — we’d have to explain.
“If you want to take it seriously and run a normal business you depend on income.
“And we have no idea how much the club will earn — especially because we don’t know when we can start playing in front of spectators again.”
A few weeks later, Chelsea struck a deal with Leipzig to bring Werner to Stamford Bridge.
The 24-year-old later dismissed the idea that Liverpool had cooled their interest and claimed he chose Chelsea as it was the best option for his career.
“There were some top clubs who fought for me,” he said. “The entire Chelsea package was the best for me, my game and my career.
“Money played the smallest role. For me money was never a decisive factor, [if it was] then I could have gone to China.
“Chelsea is a top destination in European football. There is a really good team at Chelsea with high quality, we want to challenge at the top. I haven’t regretted my decision for a second.”
Werner has endured a tough debut season in west London having scored just five Premier League goals in 25 matches but now he is looking to kick on under Thomas Tuchel.