RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann has stressed that Timo Werner’s purported transfer to Chelsea is not done yet, but he is wary that his side are set to lose “highly talented” players this season.
The East German outfit overcame Hoffenheim 2-0 on Saturday to strengthen their position in third in the Bundesliga and go a long way to seal a place in next season’s Champions League.
The 24-year-old forward has been one of the chief architects of this success, having scored 25 times and set up eight more in 31 Bundesliga outings this season, but he is expected to complete a transfer to Chelsea this summer, with the Stamford Bridge side having agreed to match his €60 million (£53m/$69m) release fee.
Although nothing has been officially completed, Nagelsmann has dropped a hint that he is already considering options to replace the Germany international star.
“The transfer is not fixed you, you have to emphasise that,” Nagelsman told Sport1. “I’m a coach with a realistic view and dreams. I’m aware that one or another highly talented player will leave us. It’s up to us, then, to find new players who can follow in such big footsteps.”
Although Leipzig continue to pursure a policty that sees them sign young players, develop them and sell them on for a greater fee, their coach says that their ambitions remain high and says the team is moving in the correct direction.
“I’m satisfied with our performance, our aim was to reach the Champions League,” he said.
“It’s normal that we’d want to be champions sometimes. Every team in the Bundesliga should have this desire. But if we reach the Champions League, I’d be satisfied with this season in transition.
“We constantly score a lot of goals and have had the most stable defence for a long time. We’ve been moving in this direction for years.
“We want to take the club to the next level and achieve our goals. If we win enough titles, that’s up to me, the club and the team.”
Leipzig will face Dusseldorf in their next fixture on Wednesday and a victory would all but seal their place in the Champions League next term.