Lothar Matthaus has warned Timo Werner against joining Liverpool this summer as he fears the RB Leipzig hotshot would spend too much time on the bench.
The 24-year-old Werner is one of the most coveted strikers in world football, having netted 27 times in 36 appearances in all competitions this season.
The Germany international is under contract until 2023 but has a buyout clause of €60 million (£53m/$65m) and has been heavily linked with Bayern Munich.
However, Werner has already publicly stated he would favour a move abroad and although he is a possible transfer target for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, as confirmed by Goal, Liverpool is reported to be his preferred destination.
Matthaus feels the striker would suit Jurgen Klopp's system but the World Cup winner fears Werner's game time would be restricted by the presence of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane at Anfield.
"I think Timo is a Liverpool player in mentality and style," the Germany legend told reporters. "He is a very fast and strong player. He is direct and doesn’t like to just hold onto the ball. Jurgen Klopp likes fast players in attack and Werner has pace, but he has to play.
"At Leipzig, Timo has his position. He is a fixed player in the system of Julian Nagelsmann. But Liverpool are one of the best clubs in the world. They are strong not only in the Premier League but the Champions League as well.
"They have a lot of players who are very good. Sure, Werner could fit in at Liverpool but he likes to play the big games and he would have to get someone out of the team. I am talking about Mane, Salah or Firmino.
"I think when all these players are fit to play, then Werner would sit on the bench, which is not good, as he is a player who loves to play all the time.
"So, maybe it would be better to have another year at Leipzig. This season, for example, he has improved a lot, and not only in terms of the number of goals he has scored, but how he is playing overall.
"He can be a Liverpool player in the future but he would be unhappy if he has to sit out big games on the bench.
"For this reason, if I were his manager, I would tell him to spend another year at Leipzig and to get ready for playing for the German national team at the European Championship in 2021.
"I am sure he will not finish his career at RB Leipzig and that he will soon play in the Premier League. But I just hope it is not next season."
For now, at least, Werner will be focused on this weekend's resumption of play in the Bundesliga after its coronavirus-enforced break, with Leipzig currently third in the table, just five points behind leaders Bayern, and one behind Borussia Dortmund, with nine games still to play.
Nagelsmann's side restart against Freiburg at the Red Bull Arena on Saturday and although Matthaus is not predicting a straightforward home win, he does feel Leipzig are in a very strong position to challenge for the title.
"Freiburg has nothing to lose, they are safe in the middle of the table with a lot of points and they have done a good job this season," the 59-year-old pointed out.
"But Leipzig are favourites and still have a chance to win the Bundesliga. They have already played twice against Bayern Munich, Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, so the only big game left is Borussia Dortmund at home.
"Of course, they need to hope Bayern and Dortmund make mistakes and lose points but I think Leipzig can still win it. They weren't in the best form before the break but they are only five points behind and have good quality and harmony in the club. Nobody is putting pressure on them either.
"Of course, they are also only three points ahead of Leverkusen in fifth, so they could just as easily lose their Champions League spot as win the title!
"But they are a well-run club and, at the very least, I expect them to make it back into the Champions League again next year."
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