Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard and performance advisor Petr Cech made a secret trip to Germany in February in order to convince Timo Werner to join the Blues over Liverpool and Manchester United.
It was believed that Liverpool had agreed personal terms with the highly-rated German striker, but weren’t prepared to meet his £54m release clause due to the financial uncertainty currently surrounding football, particularly with his prospective wages putting pressure on their careful structure.
With the release clause set to expire imminently, Chelsea are believed to have agreed to pay the fee to RB Leipzig and agreed terms with Werner, who will now head to Stamford Bridge in summer.
In order to persuade the 24-year-old to head to London over Liverpool, where he had been expected to move for a number of months, The Telegraph report that Lampard and Cech headed to his homeland in order to sweeten the deal and add a personal touch to the move.
It is believed that both Liverpool and United had also made personal approaches for Werner around a similar time period, but Lampard and Cech succeeded ahead of the competition.
In the visit, the duo laid out the plan involving Werner and explained how he would fit into Lampard’s Chelsea side. The sweet talking paid off evidently, as Werner, his family and his representatives were all impressed with the vision sold to them.
Lampard and Cech, who won a plethora of silverware together as Chelsea teammates – including a Champions League and three Premier Leagues – were equally as impressed by Werner, who has been described as ‘driven but humble’ during their meeting. The two parties have since stayed in contact while the deal reaches its closing stages.
Cech was seen as crucial in the meetings, holding the initial talks and acting as a translator for Werner’s father and his agent, who speak limited English.
His importance in the deal shows the development of Chelsea’s new recruitment strategy since he was appointed as performance advisor, with the Blues also fending off competition to bring Hakim Ziyech to Stamford Bridge this summer, earlier in the season.