According to a report from El Nacional, Barcelona have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Chelsea forward Timo Werner, with the Premier League giants willing to negotiate over a transfer in the January window.
Werner joined Chelsea last year’s summer transfer window from RB Leipzig amid much fanfare but has failed to live up to the billing. While he cannot be faulted for his work rate and effort on the field, the German international has often been guilty of failing to put away the simplest of chances during his time at Stamford Bridge.
So much so that Chelsea were forced to bring in Romelu Lukaku for a massive fee in the summer earlier this year. Since the Belgian’s arrival, he has been the preferred option up top, leaving Werner as the backup choice. The 25-year-old has managed just 11 appearances across all competitions so far, scoring just three goals in the process
Werner’s situation at Chelsea has led to an interest in his services from clubs across Europe, with Barcelona emerging as his most recent suitors. The Catalan giants are in need of a new striker in the January transfer window; that much is very well-established at this point.
Summer signing Sergio Aguero has been ruled out for the foreseeable future due to a heart condition, which could even force him into early retirement. Luuk de Jong, who arrived on the summer deadline day, has struggled to make an impact and finds himself out of favour at Camp Nou under new manager Xavi Hernandez.
This has left the Blaugrana with Memphis Depay as the only genuine option for the No. 9 role. Still, the Dutchman himself is not a natural in the position, which was apparent in Barcelona’s recent goalless draw against SL Benfica. So, they are in urgent need of reinforcing the centre-forward slot come January.
Numerous options like FC Basel’s Arthur Cabral, Alexandre Lacazette of Arsenal have been linked, with Werner also emerging as a target. The report claims that Xavi sees the 25-year-old Chelsea ace as a good fit into his setup due to his pace and ability to play on the flanks.
However, Barcelona’s financial situation means they can only afford to take him on loan for the rest of the season, with an option to buy in the summer. Chelsea, for their part, are believed to be looking to offload Werner and would prefer to sell him outright. But, the report states that owner Roman Abramovich may be willing to make an exception and is open to negotiating with Barcelona over a deal.
It is further claimed that Werner would be open to making the switch to Camp Nou to test himself in La Liga, which will come as an added boost for Barcelona. It remains to be seen if the Catalans can work out an arrangement with the Blues over a deal in January.