RB Leipzig have said Germany international Timo Werner must stay with the club through the 2018-19 season and that they are already working on extending his contract.
The 21-year-old is one of Germany’s brightest young talents and their attacking hope when the Nationalmannschaft try to defend their trophy at the World Cup in Russia this summer.
Speaking to kicker, Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has insisted that Werner will still be with the club throughout next season.
“Timo knows in any case that he right now, and also the next season, plays for us,” Rangnick said. “We are already in talks to adjust and extend his contract.”
Werner, who moved to Leipzig from Stuttgart in 2016, has scored 44 goals in 146 Bundesliga appearances for the two clubs. Thirty-one of those goals have come in just 51 matches for Leipzig.
He has also found the back of the net seven times in just 10 caps for Germany.
Rangnick also said that allowing Naby Keita to leave Leipzig for Liverpool during the January transfer window would have sent the wrong message to the rest of the team.
Having already secured a deal for the Guinea international for the upcoming season, Liverpool had hoped to convince Leipzig to allow the midfielder to move to Anfield early.
Rangnick said that this would have been a wrong signal for a squad that is competing to secure a return to the Champions League.
“I told [that to] Jurgen Klopp, but also Naby and his agent,” Rangnick said. “Even if Liverpool had paid us an additional €20 million to €25m on top of the already agreed fee, we shouldn’t have done it.
“That might have been the sum we’d get for securing Champions League qualification, but we would not have been able to compensate for the damages to our images [not only] for our own players, but also those we might sign.”
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.