Leipzig boss Tedesco reacts to Timo Werner link, says Bayern target Laimer wants 'clarity'

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Timo Werner and RB Leipzig made for a sublime match over four joyful years, but the Bundesliga club are reluctant to say whether they want to rekindle the relationship.

Leipzig head coach Domenico Tedesco was asked about the prospect of re-signing Werner when he addressed a news conference on Thursday, and gave the idea absolutely no encouragement.

Nor did he discourage the idea, though, which points to a reunion possibly being under consideration but far from certain to happen.

Werner might believe he has endless escape routes from Chelsea if he reads the gossip columns, with Juventus also linked with him in recent days.

Two years with Chelsea might be enough for Werner, whose involvement decreased last season and whose goal return in the Premier League has fallen far short of expectations.

By adding Raheem Sterling to their squad, Chelsea have brought in a player who performs a similar role to Werner – a goal threat from the flanks with a sharp turn of pace – and looks sure to be a regular starter for Thomas Tuchel.

Tedesco said: "Timo Werner is not my player, not our player. He's a Chelsea player and I have a very clear opinion on that, not to comment, not to take a position on players who don't belong to us, who aren't under contract with us. I think that has something to do with respect. And it is simply an important principle that I have established for myself."

Pressed on whether he could confirm any interest from Leipzig at all in the Germany forward, Tedesco said: "No, I can't. I can't, because as I said, I stand by that, he's a Chelsea FC player and everything else has become superfluous."

Werner scored 34 goals in 45 games across all competitions in his final season at Leipzig, at a rate of one every 105.53 minutes. At Chelsea, he has managed 23 goals in 89 appearances so far.

Leipzig may wish to sell a player to fund any offer for Werner, with Konrad Laimer repeatedly linked in German media with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.

But it is not the case that Leipzig particularly want to lose another significant figure to Bayern, after coach Julian Nagelsmann and first-team key figures Marcel Sabitzer and Dayot Upamecano went to Munich last year.

"[Laimer] is our player, is my player and I am happy that he is my player," said Tedesco.

"And as long as there is nothing else, he has my full support, is treated the same as any other player. And of course it's also clear that the longer this drags on, the more difficult it will be to do that at some point. So time is in our favour because, as you rightly said, there is no deadline."

Tedesco is not ignorant of the speculation surrounding Laimer, however, and said the Austrian midfielder "is also of the opinion that he would like to have clarity at some point".

Leipzig face Bayern in the DFB-Supercup on Saturday, and Tedesco believes the German champions are collectively more powerful going into the new season than they were 12 months ago, despite losing star striker Robert Lewandowski to Barcelona.

Sadio Mane, Ryan Gravenberch, Noussair Mazraoui and Matthijs de Ligt have arrived at Bayern, and Tedesco said: "They have been flexible before. But of course, this is a different story because I think that Lewandowski will be missed by them. Not just in this game but in general since he scored a lot of goals for them.

"But they have reinforced themselves and I think that they have a stronger squad than last year."

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