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Replacing Timo Werner at RB Leipzig will be almost impossible as "you can't clone a player" or find anyone with a similar goal threat, admits coach Julian Nagelsmann.
The Germany international has scored 31 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions this season, but looks set to play next year at Chelsea after the Premier League club activated his £54 million(€60m/$68m) release clause.
It has looked inevitable that the 24-year-old would depart Leipzig for a while, having been heavily linked to Liverpool before Chelsea stepped in, while the player himself has previously talked up a move to the Premier League.
Nagelsmann now faces the task of replacing Werner's goals for his team, and admits it could mean having to sign multiple players to do the job previously performed by a one-man goal machine.
Speaking exclusively to Goal and DAZN, Werner said: "It's not possible to replace him, you can't clone a player. If Timo Werner leaves us, the main thing would be to replace 34 goals a season.
"That would be the main task, which perhaps could not be solved by just one player. It is important that we get the same output at the end of the day, that is the complex thing about the topic."
Transfers look set to be a sticky topic this summer, with the delay to the 2019-20 season caused by the coronavirus pandemic providing a headache forfootball's governing bodies.
FIFA hassaid transfer windows could open before the end of this season to allow clubs to prepare for 2020-21, while it has also asked teams to consider extending expiring contracts to the end of the current campaign and to delay deals set to come into force on July 1.
There is also the issue of the Champions League, which if it restarts will do so when domestic leagues are concluded, meaning players could have already moved on to new teams - and in theory could be playing for sides who are due to face their old clubs.
Nagelsmann, whose Leipzig side have reached the Champions League quarter-finals for the first time,has called for FIFA to step in and make sure such a bizarre scenario does not come to pass.
He said: "If the contracts remain as they are, a player whose contract ends on June 30th theoretically would play for a new team beginning July 1st. It's FIFA's turn to solve the problem.
"I personally find the idea interesting that players go to their new clubs on July 1, and then the same rules should apply to the Champions League as to national team secondments. In other words, the new club would have to relinquish the player to the old club for the Champions League games.
"Then there could be confused scenarios, but it would be very strange for me if it should come to the situation that you suddenly play against your own player."
Aged 32, Nagelsmann has emerged as one of the most promising young coaches in world football while demanding his sides play passing football. However, when asked which managers he admires most, the German picked out an experienced boss with a much more direct and combative approach to the game.
He said: "Of course there are coaches whose game idea is similar to mine, but to name another, Atletico Madrid managerDiego Simeone has been teaching a similar football style for years, which is not always pleasant for his own players and is not always the most exciting, but the players still follow him unconditionally. Hemust have an extraordinary gift.
"I believe that 99 percent of the coaches who would only play 4-4-2 flat, very low and so nasty, would be burned after two years. But not him. He runs around like dynamite and is still well received by his players. Simeone must have something that will cast a spell over his players. It is extraordinary."