Kevin Kampl described team-mate Dayot Upamecano's red card against Paderborn as "completely unnecessary" after RB Leipzig were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw.

Upamecano received a second booking two minutes before half-time on Saturday when he kicked the ball away in frustration after being adjudged to have fouled Streli Mamba.

Leipzig were in front at that stage after Patrik Schick's opener but bottom-of-the-table Paderborn ultimately claimed a dramatic point when captain Christian Strohdiek struck in the 92nd minute.

"It was completely unnecessary," Kampl said to Sky Germany about defender Upamecano's sending off.

"We lead 1-0, have the game under control and then we weaken ourselves.

"This is extremely bitter. A win would have been a huge step towards the Champions League.

"We are most annoyed about the goal in added time. Paderborn played well in the majority of the game - but we can no longer let the game get out of our hands."

Leipzig have now drawn five of their last six Bundesliga home games and have 11 top-flight draws in total this season.

Those dropped points have left them third in the table and involved in a scrap to secure a top-four finish, rather than competing with Bayern Munich for the title.

"We can be happy that the competition has also left us with some points - that's the only positive thing," added Schick, referring to Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen losing to Freiburg and Bayern respectively.

The striker added: "Of course we are just really disappointed after the late equaliser. When we play in Hoffenheim next there is only one option - three points.

"We are still in pole position to reach the Champions League and have to give everything for this goal in the next few weeks."

RB Leipzig were left to rue Dayot Upamecano's first-half dismissal as Christian Strohdiek's stoppage-time equaliser earned the Bundesliga's bottom side Paderborn a 1-1 draw.

Central defender Upamecano received two cautions prior to half-time, the second of which came after he kicked the ball away in anger.

However, it looked as though Leipzig were going to take all three points anyway, with Timo Werner having put all the talk of his impending move to Chelsea to one side to set up Patrik Schick's 27th-minute opener.

Yet Werner missed a late chance that would have made it 2-0 when he grazed the crossbar, and Strohdiek pounced to level after Marlon Ritter's effort was pushed into his path by goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi.

RB Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff says there has been no contact with Chelsea over Timo Werner despite reports of the Premier League club agreeing a deal for the forward.

It is claimed the Blues have triggered Werner's release clause, thought to be in the region of £54million (€60m), to win the race for his signature.

However, Mintzlaff would not be drawn on those suggestions while speaking to Sky Sport. 

Mintzlaff said: "We are concentrating on the final sprint of the league. We want to go to the Champions League. That is the only thing we are currently discussing with Timo.

"It was important for us that we extend the contract with him. We did that last summer, because of course it is important for our young club that no player moves free of charge.

"Of course, there was this exit clause that we put in the contract to give him the opportunity to take the next step.

"Now Timo Werner is sitting in the driver's seat, not us anymore. So far, Werner has not exercised the clause, nor has any club sent us a transfer contract.

"We haven't had an exchange [with Chelsea] yet. Accordingly, we have nothing to report. Timo Werner is a player for RB Leipzig. He signalled a few weeks ago that he was busy with a transfer. Right now nothing is dry."

Mintzlaff was also asked about whether they would continue in this season's Champions League, which had seen half of the last-16 ties completed when the coronavirus pandemic brought the campaign to a halt, with Werner in the event of a transfer being confirmed.

"We can only discuss when we know when the Champions League is going to take place," he replied. "It won't be decided until mid-June."

Lionel Messi could be set to extend his contract at Barcelona.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner's deal with the LaLiga giants expires next year, and there has been some speculation about the forward's future.

But, a renewal at Barcelona could be on the cards.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA TO BEGIN CONTRACT TALKS WITH MESSI

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is planning to meet Messi's father next week to discuss a contract renewal, according to Sport.

The 32-year-old has won 10 LaLiga titles and the Champions League on four occasions during his time at Barca.

Meanwhile, Sport also reports Barcelona rejected a €100million offer for 17-year-old forward Ansu Fati.

ROUND-UP

- While RB Leipzig star Timo Werner is reportedly set to join Chelsea, it seems Liverpool may be looking elsewhere. The Independent says Liverpool are closely monitoring Borussia Dortmund attacker Jadon Sancho. The England international has been linked to Manchester United and Real Madrid. The Mirror, meanwhile, reports Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp called Werner to tell the forward the club would not be pursuing a move.

- Barcelona are expected to be busy during the close season. Marca reports the LaLiga giants are still focused on Inter star Lautaro Martinez and Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, despite the transfers being complicated.

- Staying at Camp Nou and Sport reports Bayern Munich consider Barcelona defender Nelson Semedo, valued at €40m, too expensive, with Ajax's Sergino Dest a cheaper alternative.

- Out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at season's end, Thiago Silva could be set for an exit. The defender is open to a return to AC Milan if he does not renew in Paris, according to Sport.

- Another player coming out of contract, Dries Mertens, is seemingly going nowhere. Sky Sport reports Mertens, 33, will extend his contract with Napoli for two years with an option for a third.

- Could Chelsea add a left-back this close season? The Guardian says they are stepping up their interest in Leicester City defender Ben Chilwell, while Ajax's Nicolas Tagliafico is said to be an alternative.

Chelsea are reportedly closing in on a major transfer coup by securing RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

The Germany forward has long been touted as a target for Liverpool, but the Blues appear to have stolen a march on their Premier League counterparts.

But what sort of a player will Chelsea be getting?

Here, we take a look at the numbers that make Werner one of the most highly regarded players in European football.

MEASURING UP TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE ELITE

At 24, Werner is poised to enter his prime years and appears to be improving at a rate of knots.

Last season, he scored 16 goals in 30 Bundesliga appearances, under-performing his Expected Goals (xG) figure of 17.6, according to Opta data.

This term, he has raced to 25 in 29 outings – a prolific return that is 5.5 in excess of his 19.5 xG.

The early return of the Bundesliga has given Werner chance to burnish his tally, with four goals in as many outings since the restart, including a hat-trick in the 5-0 demolition of Mainz.

But even in terms of goals-per-game, none of the leading Premier League marksmen are able to match the RB Leipzig star's average of 0.9 this season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Jamie Vardy and Sergio Aguero are all on 0.7.

Vardy and Aubameyang do boast better shot conversion rates – 32 and 26 per cent respectively, compared to Werner's 23 per cent, while Leicester City's former England striker also shades him 66 per cent to 65 in terms of accuracy.

Nevertheless, Werner compares incredibly well to his soon-to-be counterparts in England and his upgrade on Tammy Abraham's 0.5 goals per game for Chelsea could be a particularly significant one for Frank Lampard.

PUSHING LEWANDOWSKI IN THE BUNDESLIGA

Bayern Munich have also been noted as admirers of Werner and there would appear to be no more suitable heir to their prolific number nine Robert Lewandowski.

Since Werner's Bundesliga debut for Leipzig in August 2016, only Lewandowski (110) has scored more goals in Germany's top flight than his 75. Hoffenheim's Andrej Kramaric comes in third on 52

Indeed, across Europe's top five leagues this term, Werner's 31 goals in all competitions is better than everyone's return aside from the Poland superstar's 43.

No player's goals in the 2019-20 Bundesliga have been worth more points to their side than the 15 Werner's have bagged for Leipzig, while the trademark style of some of those strikes has certainly caught the eye.

GIVING RB LEIPZIG WINGS

Werner's pace in all attacking situations and speed on the break has become something of a calling card.

No player in Europe's top five leagues has scored more than his five from fast breaks in 2019-20. Vardy, PSG star Kylian Mbappe and Parma's Gervinho are on four.

In terms of goals following a carry – defined by Opta as a player travelling five metres or more with the ball – Werner also edges Mbappe out at the top of the standings 8-7. Lewandowski and Inter's Romelu Lukaku have six apiece.

Along with Leipzig team-mate Christopher Nkunku, Borussia Dortmund's Thorgan Hazard, Lazio's Luis Alberto and Riyad Mahrez at Manchester City, Werner has six assists following a carry, with that quintet only bettered by Dortmund winger – and another widely rumoured Premier League target – Jadon Sancho (eight).

Werner's overall goal involvements following a carry come to 14, putting Sancho into second place on the continent with 12. Mahrez and Mbappe are in esteemed company on nine with Lionel Messi and Sadio Mane – a man who can perhaps now breathe a little easier over his starting place at Anfield.

Additionally, Werner has got into the best shooting positions from take-ons in the top five leagues, amassing an xG of 3.1 in those situations. Vardy is the next best on 2.6.

Hansi Flick has congratulated Chelsea after they reportedly won the race for Timo Werner and says Bayern Munich respect the RB Leipzig striker's decision.

Bayern were rumoured to be in the running for the Germany international, but it has been reported that Chelsea have triggered his £54million (€60m) release clause.

Werner has played a direct part in 32 Bundesliga goals this term - second only to Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho - and Flick acknowledges the Premier League side have pulled off a big signing.

"He is a very good player, a player who scores goals," Flick said at his pre-match news conference ahead of Saturday's league clash with Bayer Leverkusen.

"This is Timo's decision and you have to respect it. If what's being reported is true, then Chelsea have made a very good signing."

As well as being linked with Werner, Bayern have also been tipped to sign one of Leroy Sane or Kai Havertz when the transfer window opens.

Havertz last week became the first player in Bundesliga history to reach 35 goals before the age of 21 with his strike against Freiburg, and Flick admits he would like to have the "exceptional" forward at Bayern.

"I think there aren't too many coaches who would mind having Kai Havertz in their team. Me included," he said ahead of Bayern's trip to BayArena.

"I've known Kai for a long time, since I accompanied Germany during the Under-17s European Championship in Azerbaijan. Even then he showed how good of a player he was. 

"There were two or three really good players and he is the one who developed the most since then for sure. 

"Kai is player who moves between the lines very intelligently and has got a good speed. He is very calm with the ball and we saw that against Freiburg.

"He's got that goal instinct and is able to put the ball through the smallest gaps at his young age. This is exceptional. Obviously it's nice to have players in your team who score."

Liverpool "have slipped up" by reportedly missing out to Chelsea on RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, according to Reds great Steve Nicol.

Chelsea are reported to have triggered Werner's release clause, believed to be in the region of £54million (€60m), to win the race for his signature.

Liverpool had long been considered the favourites to sign the Germany international, who has scored 31 goals this season, but they are said to have delayed an approach and their Premier League rivals have swooped.

Nicol, who won nine major honours during his time at Anfield, feels that his former club could pay the price as they are in need of competition for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

"I think it is [a mistake], yes. Regardless of how good you are, you have to make sure you stay where you are at the very least," he told ESPN.

"That means you need competition for places. No question, Werner would have kept the front three - as great as they are and have been - on their toes.

"The front three of Liverpool can now breathe a little easier. I think Liverpool have slipped up here."

Werner described Jurgen Klopp as "the best coach in the world" in February and admitted his style of play would be well suited to Liverpool, but looks to be on his way to Stamford Bridge when the transfer window opens.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Werner had something to do with this," Nicol added.

"At the end of the day, if you want to go somewhere you can make it happen. It looks to me like Werner has changed his mind."

Liverpool "have slipped up" by reportedly missing out to Chelsea on RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, according to Reds great Steve Nicol.

Chelsea are reported to have triggered Werner's release clause, believed to be in the region of £54million (€60m), to win the race for his signature.

Liverpool had long been considered the favourites to sign the Germany international, who has scored 31 goals this season, but they are said to have delayed an approach and their Premier League rivals have swooped.

Nicol, who won nine major honours during his time at Anfield, feels that his former club could pay the price as they are in need of competition for Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

"I think it is [a mistake], yes. Regardless of how good you are, you have to make sure you stay where you are at the very least," he told ESPN.

"That means you need competition for places. No question, Werner would have kept the front three - as great as they are and have been - on their toes.

"The front three of Liverpool can now breathe a little easier. I think Liverpool have slipped up here."

Werner described Jurgen Klopp as "the best coach in the world" in February and admitted his style of play would be well suited to Liverpool, but looks to be on his way to Stamford Bridge when the transfer window opens.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Werner had something to do with this," Nicol added.

"At the end of the day, if you want to go somewhere you can make it happen. It looks to me like Werner has changed his mind."

Chelsea have reportedly agreed a deal for RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

Werner, 24, has been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool after an impressive campaign with the Bundesliga club.

But their Premier League rivals are seemingly set to bring in the forward.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA AGREE £54M DEAL FOR WERNER

Chelsea have agreed a £54million (€60m) deal for RB Leipzig star Werner, according to The Sun.

The report says the Germany international is set to sign a five-year deal at Chelsea.

However, it also reports there is still a danger of Liverpool making a last-ditch bid for Werner.

ROUND-UP

- Perhaps Paul Pogba will extend his stay at Manchester United. The Daily Mail reports the France midfielder, who has been linked with Real Madrid and Juventus, could extend his contract – which runs until 2021 – at Old Trafford if he forms a good combination with Bruno Fernandes when the Premier League season resumes.

- Having starred for Bayer Leverkusen, Kai Havertz has been linked with a move. The Manchester Evening News reports the attacker is open to a switch to Manchester United.

- On loan at Inter from Chelsea until the end of the season, Victor Moses' future is uncertain. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A club want to hold onto the 29-year-old, either by his loan being extended or with a permanent deal worth less than €12m (£10.8m).

- Could Kurt Zouma be set for a reunion with Jose Mourinho? RMC Sport reports the Chelsea and France defender could join his former manager at Tottenham this close season.

- Perhaps Zouma could arrive at Spurs as a replacement for Jan Vertonghen as the Evening Standard says the Belgium defender is expected to complete the Premier League season before leaving Tottenham on a free transfer.

- Another player coming out of contract is Pedro. The Chelsea attacker has decided to sign with Roma, according to Sport, after links to the likes of Juventus, Valencia, Sevilla and Real Betis.

Lautaro Martinez's move to Barcelona is seemingly getting closer.

The star Inter forward has been linked to the LaLiga giants, although questions have been raised over whether Barca can find a deal to land the 22-year-old.

But the Argentina international could be nearing a switch to Camp Nou.

 

TOP STORY – LAUTARO, BARCELONA AGREE TO FIVE-YEAR DEAL

Martinez and Barcelona have reached an agreement on a five-year deal at about €12million per season plus bonuses, according to Sport.

The report says Inter have given up on the star forward, but are yet to reach an agreement with Barcelona.

Martinez has scored 16 goals in 31 games this season.

ROUND-UP

- Bayern Munich have already decided not to purchase Philippe Coutinho, who has been linked with an extended stay on loan. However, Sport Bild reports there is no chance the playmaker stays in Munich.

- Timo Werner is reportedly a target for Liverpool, but another Premier League club could be making their move. The Telegraph claims Chelsea are plotting a move for the RB Leipzig forward.

- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's Arsenal future remains uncertain. The Telegraph reports head coach Mikel Arteta is trying to persuade the striker to stay at the Premier League club, while The Sun says Arsenal will keep Aubameyang until the end of his contract in 2021 if they cannot get more than £20m for him this close season.

- Could Eric Garcia return to Barcelona? Sport reports the LaLiga giants are tracking the defender, who came through their youth system before joining Manchester City in 2018.

- Having impressed at Lyon, Houssem Aouar may be ready for a move. According to CalcioMercato, the attacker would prefer a switch to Juventus over Manchester City.

- After contract talks with Newcastle United broke down, Matty Longstaff could be heading abroad. The Times says the midfielder is set for a move to Serie A, with Udinese frontrunners to sign the 20-year-old.

Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is attracting plenty of interest in Europe.

Milinkovic-Savic has been linked to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Real Madrid, though, are reportedly fighting to bring the Serbia international to the Santiago Bernabeu.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE REACHES OUT TO LAZIO STAR

Zinedine Zidane has approached Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic regarding a move to Real Madrid, according to Le10Sport.

Milinkovic-Savic is a player in demand, linked to Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United and Manchester City.

Zidane is interested in bringing Milinkovic-Savic to the Spanish capital, however, the Serbian midfielder reportedly wants to team up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at PSG.

 

ROUND-UP

- Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona are eyeing Ajax and United States sensation Sergino Dest. PSG are also reportedly interested in the 19-year-old full-back as a replacement for Thomas Meunier.

- Atletico Madrid defender Stefan Savic is being chased by Serie A champions Juventus and Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Luka Modric to Milan? The Madrid veteran was reportedly poised to swap the Santiago Bernabeu for San Siro at season's end. However, Calciomercato says the move is off after Zvonimir Boban's Milan exit.

- After Mauro Icardi completed a permanent transfer to PSG, Calciomercato reports Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik is at the top of Juve's list of targets.

- According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Chelsea and Juve are set to hold talks over a deal that would see Jorginho and Federico Bernardeschi swap clubs.

Madrid have been favourites to sign Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga, but Le10Sport says PSG are preparing a sensational move for the 17-year-old.

- Could Raheem Sterling swap City for Manchester neighbours United? The Independent reports the Red Devils have placed Sterling high up in priority amid uncertainty over City's Champions League ban. Sterling, though, appears more likely to go to Madrid. RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly remain on United's list as they continue to target Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

RB Leipzig head coach Julian Nagelsmann said his team were deserved winners after coming from behind to beat Cologne 4-2.

Leipzig returned to winning ways in the Bundesliga after being held by Hertha Berlin last week – Patrik Schick, Christopher Nkunku, Timo Werner and Dani Olmo on target on Monday.

Jhon Cordoba had put hosts Cologne ahead but four goals from four different goalscorers helped Leipzig climb to third in the standings, despite Anthony Modeste reducing the deficit.

"It was a strange game with lots of ups and downs. We were a bit sleepy before they scored," Nagelsmann said post-match, with Leipzig two points adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund.

"We didn't defend as well as we can. Overall, I think we could play better. It's hard to summarise things at the moment.

"A win was important for the table. Coming from behind was important too. It wasn't easy, but we deserved to win."

Schick equalised for Leipzig in the 20th minute after Cordoba had opened the scoring 13 minutes earlier at RheinEnergieStadion.

It means the Czech Republic international, who is on loan from Serie A side Roma, has scored in back-to-back matches for Leipzig.

Schick added: "It was another tough game tonight. It wasn't the start that we wanted. After that, we grew into the game and fought hard. At the end of the day, we're really happy with the three points."

RB Leipzig climbed to third in the Bundesliga table with a 4-2 victory away to Cologne on Monday.

Four goals from four different goalscorers secured a return to winning ways for Julian Nagelsmann's side, who were held by Hertha Berlin last Wednesday.

Jhon Cordoba put Cologne ahead, but Patrik Schick, Christopher Nkunku and Timo Werner put the visitors in control.

Anthony Modeste blasted in a lifeline only for Dani Olmo to score Leipzig's fourth two minutes later to make certain of the win.

Cologne were on a four-game winless run heading into the match after weeks of improvement under Markus Gisdol, but they were ahead just seven minutes in when Cordoba's shot was too much for Peter Gulasci after he had nudged Elvis Rexhbecaj's effort onto the post.

Cordoba saw a header held by Gulacsi as Cologne's bright start continued, but they were pegged back through frustratingly simple fashion, Angelino's cross from the left headed powerfully home by Schick.

After Cordoba went off injured, Leipzig grabbed a second before the break, Konrad Laimer sending Nkunku through on goal to chip a clever finish over Timo Horn.

The game looked to have been effectively wrapped up five minutes after the restart. Gulasci caught a free-kick from Florian Kainz and sent a long ball forward to Werner, who ran unchallenged into the box and slotted beyond Horn.

Cologne needed just four minutes to halve the deficit as Modeste turned into space and rifled a shot beyond Gulacsi from 25 yards out to drag them back into the contest, but Olmo restored the two-goal lead only two minutes later, side-footing through a crowded box and past Horn after the home side failed to clear a corner.

Modeste thought he had won a penalty following a challenge from Lukas Klostermann, but referee Christian Dingert correctly overturned the decision after checking the VAR monitor, and the striker's outing ended in further frustration when he dragged a shot wide after running clean through on goal in the closing moments.

 

What does it mean? Leipzig take back control in top-four race

With Bayern Munich nine points above them, Leipzig's title challenge looks forlorn with only five games to go, but this could be a result that goes a long way to securing a top-four finish.

They are two points above Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen in fourth and fifth, respectively, keeping a Champions League return in their own hands.

Leipzig's four-midables on form

All of Leipzig's front four got on the scoresheet, their movement causing real difficulties for the Cologne back four despite a somewhat uneven display from Nagelsmann's side.

Upamecano uneasy

Europe's elite are said to be circling Dayot Upamecano, but this was a display to catch the eye for the wrong reasons. He lost Rexhbecaj in the lead-up to the first goal, gave Cordoba a good chance with a header and failed to stop Modeste's turn and strike.

What's next?

Leipzig host Paderborn on Saturday, while Cologne head to Augsburg a day later.

Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich… take your pick.

Kai Havertz is not short of options following his stunning form for Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga.

As clubs queue up to sign Havertz, a Premier League giant is reportedly leading the race.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD FAVOURITES FOR HAVERTZ

Manchester United are favourites to sign in-demand Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, according to The Sun.

Havertz has been linked to the likes of Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid after his exploits for Bundesliga outfit Leverkusen.

United are ready to swoop for Havertz, as well as Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho.

 

ROUND-UP

- Le10Sport says Paul Pogba is open to swapping United for Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain. Linked to former club Juventus and LaLiga giants Madrid, PSG have emerged as a possible destination for the disgruntled Frenchman.

Manchester City are determined to sign Juve centre-back Leonardo Bonucci, but Calciomercato claims the Serie A holders are unwilling to sell the key defender.

- Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona are positive about signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter following Mauro Icardi's move to PSG. Inter recouped at least €50million after Icardi's loan deal at PSG became permanent. While Barca are aware it will be difficult to prise Martinez to Camp Nou, the LaLiga champions view Icardi's transfer positively.

Chelsea are leading the race to sign Barca outcast Philippe Coutinho, according to the Daily Express. Coutinho has spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern but the German giants opted not to exercise their transfer option. Now, Chelsea are prepared to bring the former Liverpool star back to the Premier League on loan. Tottenham have also been linked.

- Juve's Douglas Costa is wanted by Atletico Madrid. That is according to Calciomercato, which claims Atletico want to bring in the Brazilian attacker in exchange for either Thomas Partey or Stefan Savic. Douglas Costa has been linked to United, while Arsenal are eyeing Partey.

Milan will meet with potential new head coach Ralf Rangnick, claims Gianluca Di Marzio. The Rossoneri continue to be linked to Rangnick while Stefano Pioli remains in charge.

- La Repubblica claims Juve have entered the race for Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla. The 20-year-old has been linked to the likes of Napoli, Lazio, Fiorentina, United, Tottenham, Chelsea, PSG and RB Leipzig.

Julian Nagelsmann insists Timo Werner will make the final decision on his RB Leipzig future, and compared the possibility of losing his star striker to Robert Lewandowski leaving Bayern Munich.

Werner has been heavily linked with a move away from Leipzig at the end of the season, with reports stating the forward has a €60million release clause in the contract he signed in 2019.

Bayern and Liverpool are the sides who have been credited with the most interest in the 24-year-old Germany international, who has scored 30 goals in all competitions for Leipzig this season.

Nagelsmann has made clear his intention to keep Werner, though he acknowledged the call will ultimately not be down to Leipzig, who looked set to challenge for the Bundesliga title this season until their form dipped after the winter break.

And the former Hoffenheim coach did not shy away from explaining how big of a loss Werner would be, should he leave.

"Of course you have conversations from time to time, but I have not spoken to him about that in the recent past," Nagelsmann told a news conference ahead of Leipzig's clash with Cologne.

"I think he now has 34 goals and assists [this season]. I think you have to mention that I would like to keep him. That is an extraordinary quality.

"If he leaves for the next season there would be a big gap. It's like if Robert Lewandowski leaves Bayern Munich. Nobody shouts 'Hurray!' there either, I think. They're clearly weakened then, and it's the same with us.

"That we'd like to keep him is completely normal. He has an exit clause until a certain date - I honestly don't know when - and if a club comes along and he agrees with them by then, then that's the way it is."

Nagelsmann has little else to say to Werner when it comes to making an attempt to get the forward to stay put.

"There is nothing we can do about it anyway. He knows what he has in Leipzig and also what he has with me, I know what I have in him," Nagelsmann said.

"And I show him that - similar to what I do with [Dayot] Upamecano - by letting him play every game from the beginning and if everything goes normally he is allowed to play through most games.

"He gets many chances to develop himself. That's my job, I have to do that. I don't know if it will help him that much if I tell him every day. I try to do it more with action.

"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.

"We already had this discussion last year, then in winter and now again. I'm basically someone who knows what he has to say and can add his two cents to everything.

"But here I can't think of anything new to say to Timo either. So I rather try to convince him with actions and in the end he has to know what he wants to do."

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