Media reports claim that Premier League giants Chelsea are going to be rivalling Bayern Munich in pursuit of RB Leipzig midfielder Konrad Laimer. With two such powerhouses after the Austrian, we look at what is making him such a sought-after player.
Rekordmeister Bayern were reportedly chasing Laimer in the summer transfer window with three bids knocked back by die Roten Bullen– the last of which was in the region of €24 million. Jürgen Klopp was also keen on taking the 25-year-old to Anfield to strengthen the Reds midfield area. Now it appears Chelsea, backed by the mega money of new owner Todd Boehly, are seeking to sign the Leipzig midfield dynamo.
Laimer is currently out of action with an ankle injury and has been limited to just four appearances, but he is so well admired that Leipzig know full well that they are going to be facing an uphill task to keep hold of him once he returns and starts doing his thing.
In a team that wants to press their opponent Laimer is just what the doctor ordered. In the 2021-22 season he led the team for pressures in the midfield third (265) and ranked second for tackles in the midfield third. When the press is on, he will be first in line to go and has an innate ability to hunt the ball and win it back.
He does not however have a purely defensive mindset but has impressive stats going forward with an ability to carry the ball into the penalty area, cross from wide areas and provide opportunities for the forwards.
The three-time winner of the Austrian Bundesliga is much coveted by Julian Nagelsmann, who knows him from his time at Leipzig, but now Chelsea are hovering with their sacks of cash, there could be an interesting auction ahead. His current Leipzig contract expires in the summer of 2023 so it could well be that he moves in the winter window in order for Leipzig to get a fee.
Some sources claim a verbal agreement between Laimer and Bayern is already in place and he spoke recently about the failed summer move to the Allianz Arena. “I was ready to make the move in the summer. It was very close, but I didn’t get the green light from Leipzig.
“On the one hand, it’s nice because I’m an important player. On the other hand, it’s difficult, because you think a lot. But I’ve come to terms with it. Life goes on. I’d rather concentrate on the here and now. If you think too much, you lose sight of what’s most important.”
With Chelsea entering the frame (and also potentially signing teammate Christopher Nkunku), the options are increasing as to where Laimer will be doing his monster pressing next season.