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'My goal is to get to the level of Mane, Salah & Firmino' - Chelsea new boy Werner explains why he rejected Liverpool

11:30 BST 20/09/2020
Timo Werner Chelsea 2020-21
The Germany international says he chose to move to Stamford Bridge over Anfield due to his desire to keep playing regular first team football

Chelsea new-boy Timo Werner has explained why he rejected Liverpool, insisting his main goal is to reach the same level as Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

The Blues forked out £47.5 million ($61m) to bring Werner to Stamford Bridge from RB Leipzig on June 18, beating a number of top European clubs to his signature in the process.

Liverpool had initially been dubbed the favourites to snap up the Germany international, who scored 95 goals in 159 matches at Red Bull Arena, but he ultimately decided that Chelsea was the best place to continue his development after holding talks with Frank Lampard.

Werner is confident that he won't end up regretting his choice, despite admitting that his head was turned by the opportunity to work with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield before the Blues came calling.

Asked why he turned down the chance to join the Reds, the 24-year-old told Bild: "I think it says enough that Jurgen Klopp is currently one of the most successful coaches in the world. Of course, if he wants you for his team, you will start pondering.

"In the past few months, I have also thought about a few other interested clubs. In the end, I decided to go to Chelsea with full conviction because I think it's the best move for me. I can say I haven't regretted it so far and I certainly won't in the future."

Werner added: "I had to make the best decision for myself. At Chelsea, I saw that I can play straight away and be a regular. With this project, I can grow.

"This is an opportunity that Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah may have seen four or three years ago at Liverpool FC. They too went there to develop so that they could win the Premier League and the Champions League. That's where I was now, and of course, I would like to see that development."

The Chelsea forward went on to confess that he was put off a move to Liverpool due to the presence of Mane, Salah and Firmino, who have helped fire the club towards Champions League and Premier League success in recent years, with it his desire to continue taking in regular minutes in order to reach similar heights in the future.

"It would be a lie to say with regard to such top players that it would have been easy to get past them directly," said Werner. "It's not like I got there and could have said: 'Hello, I'm Timo, and from now on I always play here!'

"I would have had to prove myself over a longer period of time, in which I initially might have been behind at first. My goal is to get to the level of such players. And I see an opportunity at Chelsea. I'm 24 years old, so I have to play.

"At Leipzig, I was also a bit spoiled in this regard, as I never had to miss a game when I was physically able to play. You get a taste that you don't want to miss anymore."

The ex-Leipzig star made his debut for Chelsea in a 3-1 victory at Brighton last weekend, and will likely retain a place in Lampard's line up when they take on defending Premier League champions Liverpool at the Bridge on Sunday.

Werner is not expecting the Blues to launch a title challenge this season, but has full confidence in the long-term project currently being undertaken in west London.

"We have to be honest with ourselves and say that we probably won't win the Premier League or the Champions League this season. If it works anyway, all the nicer. But that's not what the club expects," he said.

"As I said, I like to compare that to Liverpool a few years ago. In the first year, the team didn't win a title either. In the second year they were in the Champions League final, in the third they won it and in the fourth, the title in the Premier League followed.

"With our Chelsea project, too, we want to develop step by step so that we have greater chances for the title after each season."