Twenty-four-year-old Werner’s move from RB Leipzig comes after the German striker courted interest from a host of clubs, including Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Liverpool, but the Anfield club were forced to pull out of the reckoning due in no small part to financial strains imposed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chelsea had no such problem, having recently returned from a two-window transfer ban which ended in February 2020, and The Blues have negotiated some thrifty moves in the transfer market since. One saw them secure the services of Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech for £33 million, and also broker lucrative moves for Eden Hazard and Alvaro Morata to leave the club.
Abramovich’s business is being conducted by Russian-Canadian director Marina Granovskaia, dubbed ‘the most powerful woman in football’, who has also been instrumental in contract talks that have tied down the futures of current stars Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
“We are very excited that Timo Werner has chosen to join Chelsea,” Granovskaia said of the deal in a club statement. “He is a player who was coveted all over Europe and it is no surprise, he has that rare mix of being young and exciting and yet established and proven.
“We can’t wait to have Timo on board, but until then we wish him and RB Leipzig all the best for the rest of this season.”
Werner’s arrival will surely send a message to other top clubs looking to compete for the top four places in the Premier League, and may even be key to Chelsea mounting a title challenge to land their first league crown since 2017.
Also on the club’s radar is Brazilian Gerson, from Flamengo. The 23-year-old midfielder is rated at £30 million by his club and is also being courted by ex-Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho at Tottenham.
Should Chelsea’s transfer business continue in the same vein of success this summer, it could signal a return to the glory days of when tycoon Abramovich first arrived at Stamford Bridge, which brought unrivalled success to West London.
Chelsea were however recently ruled out of a shock €120 million move to prise Juventus winger Cristiano Ronaldo from Serie A, but sources within the Turin club rejected reports they had received any formal contact with Abramovich.