Timo Werner and 14 months of Liverpool talks…

Matt Stead

This Mediawatch was written before Timo Werner agreed to join Chelsea


#Timotime again
The headline of ‘Timo Werner’s agent sends message to Man Utd and Chelsea over Liverpool transfer’ on the Daily Mirror website mistakenly made us believe that Timo Werner’s agent had sent a message to Manchester United and Chelsea over his transfer to Liverpool. Not sure where we got that idea.

That idea was solidified by the Express website telling us that ‘Timo Werner agent tells Man Utd and Chelsea that Liverpool transfer is all but done’. At this point we are expecting quotes from said agent. Even after all these years, Mediawatch can still be naive.

It turns out that there are quotes…from self-appointed ‘transfer expert’ Ian McGarry, whose Transfer Window Podcast (which now runs all year round) just happens to be produced by Reach, who publish both the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express.

And he has said this: “Werner has agreed personal terms with Liverpool. On a five-year contract that will pay the player around £140,000 a week.” He then claims that Chelsea and Manchester United “have been told by the player’s representatives that a deal is effectively done to Liverpool”.

And that – ladies and gentlemen – is the ‘message to Man Utd and Chelsea over Liverpool transfer’, as revealed by former Sun journalist McGarry.

Now he might well know these intimate details of Liverpool’s transfer negotiations with Werner, but the man has form in this department – as reported over and over again by the Express.

In April 2019: “My information is Liverpool are very close to agreeing personal terms with Werner. Obviously they have been lacking a natural No 9 out-and-out striker for some time.”

So the deal was “very close” – 14 months ago. McGarry even went on to predict that the deal would be done for £43m that summer: “Whether they win the title or not I think that’s something they will press ahead and recruit anyway.”

Reader, they did not.

In May 2019: “We mentioned a few weeks ago on the podcast that they have an interest in Timo Werner at RB Leipzig and that interest has increased I’m led to believe in the last two weeks.”

Increased so much, in fact, that Werner signed a new contract with Leipzig in August.

In October 2019: “Timo Werner is a target for Manchester United and Liverpool in the January window but it may be the summer before he actually makes the move.”

But McGarry was keen not to close the door too hard on a January move, saying: “It has been suggested that Liverpool would buy the player in the January window and then he would be loaned back for the remainder of the Bundesliga season allowing RB Leipzig to get a good five months out of the player and to put the disappointment of the Bayern Munich transfer disintegrating behind him.”

Quite why he was so disappointed that he did not join Bayern is unclear; surely he was ‘very close’ to agreeing a deal with Liverpool back in April? Oh and they did not sign him in January.

In January 2020: “[United have] scouted Timo Werner at RB Leipzig. My information is that although Werner favours a move to the Premier League, Leipzig right now are top of the Bundesliga by two points, definitely have ambitions to win, which of course would be a historic win.”

Oddly, no mention of Liverpool. Though that was soon to be remedied…

Later in January 2020: “Liverpool are his preferred destination and indeed Liverpool are in the box-seat to sign him. But that would certainly be in the summer window to be completed. It’s not ruling out that a fee might be agreed between now and then for the player. However, there will be no transfer of Werner until the summer.”

And now, just 14 months and two transfer windows after being ‘very close’ to agreeing terms, his agent is out there ‘sending messages’ that terms have indeed been agreed.

Somehow, we don’t think we have reached the end of this particular saga.


Necessity is the mother of invention
Andrew Dillon’s back-page Sun ‘exclusive’ really has amused Mediawatch more than is healthy this dreary Thursday.

The headline of ‘deliverblue’ made us think that Chelsea were ‘delivering’ food to their footballers – which really would not be that unusual – but it turns out that their new idea is even more ‘clever’ (Dillon’s word, not ours).

This will blow your mind but it seems that when Chelsea’s players are busy training, the club’s catering staff are preparing their food. And then when the players leave to go home, they TAKE THE FOOD WITH THEM.

Yes, Chelsea have invented the takeaway.


Charlie Wyett, The Sun, June 2: ‘Some teams fear their players will be forced into 12-hour road trips to maintain social distancing.’

Martin Lipton, The Sun, June 4: ‘Visiting teams will arrive in ‘multiple coaches’, with clubs urged to fly to the nearest airport and then transfer, rather than make road or rail journeys.’

If you wait a couple of days, Dad will usually correct you.


Clear balding
There is something slightly depressing about The Sun – who have some very serious football journalists (and Neil Custis) on their staff – producing page after page of coverage of Project Restart and the new Premier League protocols, only to find that the MOST READ story on their football website is this:

‘Wayne Rooney shows off thinning hair in Derby training as he gears up for Championship restart’

‘Already balding man still balding’ > all of the football.


Football365 shithouse headline of the day
‘Liverpool target reveals admiration for Man United star’

Is it Timo Werner? Is it f***. It’s Peterborough’s Ricky Jade-Jones. You knew what you were doing, Matt Stead. Shameless. Did it work? Did it balls. As of 11.45am, there were 19 people on the story. At least make it good clickbait next time.


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