Frank Lampard and Petr Cech made an undercover pre-lockdown trip to Germany that helped Chelsea convince Timo Werner to move to the club.
According to the Telegraph, the pair gave Chelsea’s bid to sign the striker the personal touch, as they laid out their plans for how the Leipzig forward will fit into Lampard’s vision for the team.
It is believed that the visit from Lampard and Cech, who won three Premier League titles and the Champions League as team-mates at Chelsea, hugely impressed Werner, his family and his representatives.
The feeling was mutual, as Frank Lampard and Cech were encouraged by Werner’s driven but humble character, and they remained in contact.
Cech played a vital role, as both Werner’s father and his agent Karlheinz Forster are not fluent in English but the former keeper speaks good German and he was able to translate, he also offered his own expertise.
Werner was told about how Lampard wants his team to look next campaign and the duo talked to the player about the winning mentality they want to breed at Chelsea.
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Lampard had made Werner his priority some time ago and enquiries had been made even before Christmas with Cech holding a first round of talks ahead of the January window, but Werner was not interested in leaving Leipzig mid-season.
Liverpool were believed to be leading the race to sign the Germany international, while Manchester United had also shown an interest. Both tesms made personal contact before Chelsea, but Lampard and Cech proved their pulling power.
The journey to Germany, which is believed to have taken place back in Chelsea’s February mid-season break before the coronavirus crisis, gives an indication of the approach to transfers that Lampard, Cech and Marina Granovskaia are taking.
Granovskaia gave her full backing to Lampard and Cech making the trip, which made it clear the blues were prepared to meet the £53m release clause.
It also left Chelsea in a good position to complete the deal at a time when Werner and his agent could not travel to England because of the coronavirus restrictions and the resumption of the German league.
The meeting in Germany earlier this year left Granovskaia in the perfect position to strike, when Liverpool were unwilling to meet Werner’s release clause together with wages worth around £200,000-a-week.
Timo Werner will become Chelsea’s second signing of the summer window, after Hakim Ziyech, who also fell for the Lampard-Cech charm offensive.
Describing his talks with Lampard, Ziyech said: “We had a few long conversations about his approach, the playing style, the club, about me personally. And later on we texted quite a lot.”