RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann believes Timo Werner would leave a "big gap" if he departs this summer – comparable only to Bayern Munich losing star striker Robert Lewandowski.
Werner has enjoyed another glittering season with the German club, scoring 30 goals and providing 12 assists in 39 appearances.
The 24-year-old Germany international is a target for Liverpool, Manchester United and Bayern, with reports suggesting he has a £53million release clause as part of a contract signed last year.
While Naglesmann hopes Werner will stay with at Leipzig, he admits the decision is out of his hands.
And the former Hoffenheim coach believes Werner has so much quality that losing him would be comparable to Bayern losing Bundesliga top scorer Lewandowski.
"Of course you have conversations from time to time, but I have not spoken to him about that in the recent past," Nagelsmann said ahead of Leipzig's Monday evening clash with Cologne.
"I think he now has 34 goals and assists [this season]. I think you have to mention that I would like to keep him. That is an extraordinary quality.
"If he leaves for the next season there would be a big gap. It's like if Robert Lewandowski leaves Bayern Munich. Nobody shouts 'Hurray!' there either, I think. They're clearly weakened then, and it's the same with us.
"That we'd like to keep him is completely normal. He has an exit clause until a certain date – I honestly don't know when – and if a club comes along and he agrees with them by then, then that's the way it is."
Nagelsmann admits there is nothing else he can do to persuade Werner and Arsenal target Dayot Upamecano to stay – aside from playing them week in, week out.
He added: "There is nothing we can do about it anyway. He knows what he has in Leipzig and also what he has with me, I know what I have in him," Nagelsmann said.
"And I show him that – similar to what I do with [Dayot] Upamecano – by letting him play every game from the beginning and if everything goes normally he is allowed to play through most games.
"He gets many chances to develop himself. That's my job, I have to do that. I don't know if it will help him that much if I tell him every day. I try to do it more with action.
"A player has to feel that he can get better. If he doesn't feel that, it wouldn't do any good if I kept on telling him to stay here. In the end it is his life, his career, he can decide that.
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