How Timo Werner nearly ruined Chelsea’s £97.5m transfer plan to sign Romelu Lukaku

Chelsea’s main transfer mission this summer was to bring a world-class striker to the club.

Last season, the Blues’ top Premier League scorer was Jorginho, who managed just seven league goals, all of which came from the penalty spot.

However, this issue has since been addressed as Thomas Tuchel’s side completed a club-record £97.5million deal to bring Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan to Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

The Belgian frontman netted a whopping 64 goals in just 95 games during his time with the Nerazzurri and he opened his account for Chelsea on his second debut against Arsenal on Sunday.

Lukaku was a Blue between 2011 and 2014 but he failed to establish himself as a regular at the club and was eventually sold to Everton after fruitful loan spells with West Brom and the Toffees.

However, over the course of the summer, a return didn’t always seem to be on the cards given Inter’s steep asking price as Chelsea reportedly explored various player-plus-cash swap deals that involved sending fringe players to the San Siro.

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The reigning Serie A champions were seemingly uninterested in any of the players that the west London club offered, although, pacey forward Timo Werner was one Chelsea player that they did want to sign, according to German outlet BILD.

The report claims that the two clubs discussed a deal that would send Werner to the Italian giants before the 25-year-old rejected a move as he wanted to fight for his place at Stamford Bridge this season.

Werner’s decision could have scuppered Lukaku’s move to west London as Chelsea initially appeared unwilling to do a deal without sending a player the other way.

Timo Werner has been backed to thrive alongside Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Timo Werner has been backed to thrive alongside Romelu Lukaku at Chelsea (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

However, the Blues eventually decided to change their tune and offer Inter a straight cash bid instead, meaning Lukaku and Werner would both be plying their trade for Tuchel’s side this season

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Despite registering just six Premier League goals last term, the former RB Leipzig frontman utilised his pace and astute movement last term, registering 13.43 xG in the league, illustrating his smart positioning albeit an inability to finish high-quality opportunities.

And Werner has admitted he is relishing the chance to play alongside Lukaku in a Chelsea shirt.

“He’s probably one of the best three strikers in the world at the moment, no question”, he admitted earlier this month.

“I don’t think we need to say too much about him. He’s a world-class striker who would benefit any team. I certainly think at RB Leipzig, it always helped me having a big striker alongside me.

“I think that’s good because I’m not the biggest, and when you play on your own upfront, you obviously have the attention of one or two brawny defenders.

“It’s a good new weapon to have in our game when you know if you play a long ball he’ll hold it up and then the fast players around him can set off. I think that’s good for any team.”

Source by Football London

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