It’s been a wild ride this Timo Werner business. Liverpool were nearly certain to sign the German striker this summer, having identified him as both a player for the future and one who would instantly make the team better now. Timo even publicly declared his Liverpool admiration, more than once.
The rumours of Timo’s switch from RB Leipzig to Liverpool have persisted despite the shutdown of football and the unknown future of society but on Friday David Maddock, reporting for the The Mirror, suggested the Reds would officially walk away from all transfer targets due to financial uncertainties.
Maddock says Jürgen Klopp, at least in the short term, will give up on Werner as well as Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar. Both players have been on Liverpool’s radar for several seasons.
Liverpool, like all clubs, is losing income. Restarting the season would bring the TV money back in but match day money is gone and it could be a long time before it comes back.
Werner’s release clause is about $50M and Aouar’s price was set around £40M by Lyon. Maddock estimates about a £150M spend over those two five-season contracts after wages and bonuses and Liverpool won’t be doing that kind of big business. The club could miss out on £100M next season if game’s continue behind closed doors.
Already, there’s been chatter from European clubs about transfer prices coming way down. The market has changed and the eye-watering, deal-breaking fees will drop. But it could take time for everyone to start playing nice.
Whenever the transfer window does finally open we aren’t likely to notice it very much. Activity will probably be sparse due to all the uncertainty everywhere. Players at the end of their contracts will have to make moves but those players who just wanted more playing time might opt to stay put now. Does Dejan Lovren, with another year on his contract, want to move as soon as possible to AS Roma to meet and bond with a whole new group of players amidst a lockdown and play with his new team in front of zero supporters?
If he does, Liverpool would be happy to have that Lovren money back in their coffers. Finances are tight right now. And I guess that means Michael Edwards won’t have his time in the wheelin’ and dealin’ spotlight any time soon. And isn’t that the real shame?