Football: Werner happy to snub champions Liverpool for Lampard's Chelsea

Timo Werner (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of a pre-season friendly against Brighton and Hove Albion.
Timo Werner (second right) celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal of a pre-season friendly against Brighton and Hove Albion.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (REUTERS) - Timo Werner said on Wednesday (Sept 16) that he was in discussions with Liverpool over a close season transfer but eventually chose Chelsea as they were the perfect fit for his game while manager Frank Lampard also played a key role in making the decision.

Chelsea signed the German striker, 24, in a reported €50 million (S$80 million) deal in June as the London club looked to rebuild their squad ahead of the new season.

Werner, who scored 34 goals for RB Leipzig last season, was heavily linked with a move to Premier League champions Liverpool but said he opted for Chelsea as he was convinced he would thrive in Lampard's system.

"When I decided to leave Leipzig I talked to different clubs," Werner told reporters.

"There were some other clubs that I talked to... like Liverpool, who have a great team.

"But at the end I decided (to move to) Chelsea... Not only because of the style of football but also because of what they have shown to me.

"I loved playing at Leipzig but it was really important for me to come to a club with a vision that fits my style of football. The whole Premier League fits my style."

The Covid-19 pandemic prevented an early face-to-face meeting with Lampard but Werner described how the Chelsea boss was constantly in touch over the phone, even sending him videos of how he planned to use the Germany international this season.

"It was a strange time when we didn't meet each other. We met each other here for the first time because of the virus," Werner added.

"But he called me a lot, texted me a lot and (sent) media where he showed me where he wants me to play and the style of football he wants to play... It's really important that he gave me a feeling of the system he wants to play."

Chelsea, who won their season opener 3-1 at Brighton & Hove Albion, host Liverpool on Sunday.