RB Leipzig have re-signed Chelsea forward Timo Werner on a permanent deal, two years after he left the club for the Premier League.
Chelsea met the Germany international’s £45m release clause in 2020 but will make a loss, with Werner returning in a deal thought to be about £25m.
— Timo Werner (@TimoWerner) August 9, 2022
He has signed a four-year deal to 2026 with his former club.
“I’m very happy to be playing for RB Leipzig again from now on,” the 26-year-old said.
“It was a great time from 2016 to 2020 in which we caused a sensation as a league newcomer. It was a worthy farewell for me back then, going as a record goalscorer.
“But that’s also a bit of the past and now I’m looking ahead, because RB Leipzig has developed over the past two years, just like I have,” he said.
Timo Werner scored 23 goals in 89 games in all competitions for Chelsea, winning the Champions League in 2021.
He was one of the most sought-after forwards in Europe when the Blues signed him in the summer of 2020, having also attracted interest from Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid.
Thank you and good luck in Germany, Timo! 💙 pic.twitter.com/lKunDCrZkM
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) August 9, 2022
He scored 95 goals in 159 games in all competitions for Leipzig during his first spell at the club, after arriving from Stuttgart in 2016.
But Timo Werner failed to replicate that goalscoring form in the English top flight, netting just 10 times in two seasons.
However, he did play an important role in Chelsea’s run to European success in his first campaign, scoring in the semi-final second leg against Real Madrid.
Chelsea initially held talks with Leipzig about Werner returning to the club on loan but that has turned into a permanent deal.
During Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the United States, Timo Werner hinted he could be happy elsewhere, with boss Thomas Tuchel responding: “I would be one of the happiest people on the planet having a contract with Chelsea.”
Werner is thought to be one of the most popular players at the training ground and there is a recognition at Chelsea that he tried incredibly hard – but he could not score enough goals.
Despite this, plus the pressure he was under and the criticism he faced, he remained a positive influence at Chelsea and was admired by the club’s fans for his effort.
In an Instagram post as the move was confirmed, Werner thanked fans for their backing, writing: “I will never forget how you guys stood behind me in good and in challenging times!”
But he added: “Today marks the end of my journey with Chelsea FC.”
Leipzig have also announced the signing of 19-year-old Slovenia forward Benjamin Sesko, who will remain at Red Bull Salzburg until July 2023 and will sign a five-year contract until 2028.
“The club’s philosophy of placing trust in young players and playing attractive, attacking football is a perfect fit for me,” said Sesko.
“The city, the stadium and the whole infrastructure at RB Leipzig, as well as the many good discussions with the club, convinced me that this move is absolutely the right decision.”