Premier League giants Chelsea have agreed to activate RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner’s £49 million release clause, according to ESPN.
The Blues have moved ahead of Liverpool in the race for Werner by matching the asking price with sources telling ESPN Werner is on the verge of accepting a five-year contract worth £200,000-a-week.
Clubs have until June 15 to buy Werner for a fixed price and Chelsea have decided to act after receiving sufficient encouragement he would be willing to move to Stamford Bridge.
Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool have long been considered front runners for the 24-year-old’s signature given persistent rumours of contact between the two clubs and his admiration for Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.
However, sources have told ESPN that a deal is expected to be finalised in the coming days, giving Liverpool, Manchester United or any other club linked with the Germany international one last chance to enter negotiations.
Chelsea are hopeful that an offer of more game-time could be enough to convince him not to go to Liverpool where Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah are an established front three.
The Blues by contrast, are rebuilding with Hakim Ziyech due to arrive from Ajax while Pedro and Willian are set to depart on free transfers.