Please Wait . . .
Timo Werner's underwhelming performance for RB Leipzig in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Bundesliga strugglers Paderborn was not down to the speculation linking him with Chelsea, Julian Nagelsmann insisted.
On the back of the news, Werner was below-par against rock-bottom Paderborn as Leipzig surprisingly dropped two points.
But Nagelsmann dismissed the idea that "hype" was to blame, pointing out the Stuttgart academy product has had to contend with such pressure since he was a teenager.
"No, it didn't bother him," Nagelsmann said when asked if the Chelsea rumours had affected Werner.
"He was very committed. He was always working out front, like [Paderborn coach] Steffen [Baumgart] said. He was on the run a lot.
"He has a total of 32 or 33 goals this season. Today he missed a few chances, but still set up Patrik [Schick]'s goal.
"I think he would have liked to score with one of his two big chances, but that has nothing to do with the hype about his person. He has known that since he was 14."
The result leaves Leipzig four points adrift of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, but they went three clear of Borussia Monchengladbach and Bayer Leverkusen, both of whom suffered defeats this weekend.
Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff claimed before the match that Chelsea have not been in touch regarding Werner yet, while he was also adamant the striker has not triggered his release clause.
"We haven't had an exchange yet," Mintzlaff told Sky Sports Deutschland regarding the Werner talk. "Accordingly, we have nothing to report. Timo Werner is a player for RB Leipzig. He signalled a few weeks ago that he was busy with a transfer. Until now nothing is done.
"We are concentrating on the final sprint in the league. We want to qualify for the Champions League. That is the only thing we are currently discussing with Timo.
"It was important for us that we extend the contract with him. We did that last summer because of course it is important for our young club that no player moves on a free transfer.
"Of course, there was this exit clause that we put in the contract to give him the opportunity to take the next step.
"Now Timo is sitting in the driver's seat, not us anymore. So far, he has not drawn upon the clause, nor has any club sent us a transfer contract."