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Werner looks to be on his way to Premier

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HITMAN: Leipzig’s Timo Werner, left, scores his side third goal past Cologne keeper Timo Horn. Photo: Ina Fassbender/Pool via AP

HITMAN: Leipzig’s Timo Werner, left, scores his side third goal past Cologne keeper Timo Horn. Photo: Ina Fassbender/Pool via AP

AP

HITMAN: Leipzig’s Timo Werner, left, scores his side third goal past Cologne keeper Timo Horn. Photo: Ina Fassbender/Pool via AP

Red Bull Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann has conceded defeat in his efforts to persuade star striker Timo Werner to remain in his squad for another season, opening the door for a move to England this summer.

Werner has made no secret of his desire to sign for Premier League champions-elect Liverpool and reports in Germany in recent days suggest Reds boss Jurgen Klopp had held video talks with his compatriot over a potential move to Anfield.

With a clause in Werner's contract that will allow him to leave Leipzig for €60m this summer set to expire on June 15, Nagelsmann admitted Werner was likely to leave this summer after the striker scored his 25th Bundesliga goal of the season in Monday night's 4-2 win at Cologne.

"There is nothing we can do about it. He knows what he has in Leipzig and also what he has with me," said Nagelsmann after the game.

"He gets many chances to develop himself. I don't know if it will help him that much if I tell him every day.

"A player has to feel that he can get better. If he doesn't feel that, it wouldn't do any good if I kept on telling him to stay here.

"In the end, it is his life, his career, he can decide that. I can't think of anything new to say to Timo."

Manchester United and Chelsea have also been strongly linked with a move for Werner, but Liverpool appear to be in pole position to land the striker if they have the finances to fund the transfer amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Yet with transfer spending certain to be impacted by the crisis, reports in Germany suggest that Liverpool are not willing to pay the full asking price for Werner and they are looking to negotiate a reduced fee for the 24-year-old forward.

Rush

With Leipzig insisting they are in no rush to sell their star player, Chelsea and United could up the stakes by offering the asking €60m price for a striker who appears to have set his heart on a move to England.

Klopp, meanwhile, has warned his Liverpool side there is still much work to do be done as they are "close but close is not there" in their bid to win the Premier League title.

With the campaign set to resume on June 17, three months after the coronavirus pandemic forced its suspension, Klopp's Liverpool sit a massive 25 points clear of second-placed Manchester City, chasing their first league title for 30 years.

They could secure it as early as their first game back if City fail to beat Arsenal in one of two matches scheduled for June 17, but though it looks all but assured, Klopp wants no let up.

"It's nice to think about it but we are not champions yet and we know that," Klopp said.

"We know we are close but close is not there. There are 27 points left for us and we will try everything to take them all.

"We are still not champions. We have to play football games and we have to win them.

"We don't want to stop winning after two games or whatever it is. I don't see results written in the stars; we have to work really hard."