A secret meeting proved to be all the evidence Chelsea needed to persuade them to go all out to sign Timo Werner.
Frank Lampard held talks with the Red Bull Leipzig star back in February, though his interest in the player had already preceded that.
He tried to land the 24-year-old in the January transfer window when The Blues were in the market for another striker.
At the time, Werner was not open to the idea of leaving Leipzig during the middle of a campaign, and rebuffed any discussions over a move.
That did not deter Lampard though, who flew to Germany a month later in February accompanied by Chelsea technical director Petr Cech for a clandestine meeting with Werner and his agent.
Chelsea were not thought to be serious contenders for Werner's signature initially, with the player's preferring to join Liverpool, who were also keen.
Indeed Jurgen Klopp had been involved in meetings of his own with Werner to talk up a switch to Anfield.
As reports The Telegraph, it was during these meetings though that Lampard turned on the charm and convinced Werner that Stamford Bridge could be the ideal home.
Werner was particularly impressed with how high the Chelsea boss rated him, and the lengths he was prepared to go to sign him.
Ultimately it was Chelsea's willingness to offer the striker a five-year deal worth £200,000 per week that swung negotiations in their favour.
Not only that, but Lampard was also equally impressed with the 24-year-old, and was left with no doubt his £53million release clause was a price worth paying.
By contrast, Liverpool were not prepared to meet that sum, eventually pulling out of the race and leaving Chelsea in the clear.
Mirror Football's Top Stories
Crucially, Chelsea could also offer Werner a regular starting berth – something he would not be guaranteed at Liverpool – and are ready to make him the main man and spearhead of their attack.
Lampard persuaded Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich that Werner would be another piece in the jigsaw as he look to build a winning mentality at the club.
Hakim Ziyech is already set to arrive in the summer, and with Werner now coming on board, Chelsea are looking in an increasingly better position to challenge next season.
Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.
Source: Read Full Article