Report: Werner to Skip Champions League for Leipzig

RB Leipzig have been hit by another blow as rumors about Timo Werner’s availability for the continuation of the UEFA Champions League comes into question. The German striker has agreed to join Chelsea FC in England and now has been rumored to be sitting out the continental competition in order to join his new English club faster.

Despite the rumblings, manager Julian Nagelsmann still sees his striker as part of the plan as they continue their pursuit of European glory in the quarterfinals. Werner has been a major part of that with four goals in eight games. While there are already plans for life without the striker, doing so in the Champions League will certainly not be in the plans.

“He is currently, as usual, in my plans for the Champions League,” said Nagelsmann during a press conference. “He is our player and has not signed for anyone else. His importance to RB Leipzig is extraordinary. He has an incredibly good goal-scoring rate, which you always hope for from a striker.”

Nagelsmann does have options should Werner not be available. Patrik Schick has emerged as the new option, as well as Christopher Nkunku. While the preference is for Werner to dawn the East German club’s colors and see out the season, Leipzig are not locked into needed the German star to find success.

One of the major issues revolves around the nature of transfers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The UEFA competitions were delayed and may not pick up again until August. By that point the window will already be open and teams will be looking to revitalize their sides heading into their new league campaigns. Until that is clarified, players and agents are operating on the old rules, which could create confusion for Nagelsmann and his team’s hopes in the Champions League.

Extra pressure has been placed on Nagelsmann due to Yussuf Poulsen’s injury which will see him miss a significant chunk of the rest of the year. At this point, he appears to not be an option for Leipzig when the Champions League resumes.

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