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"Werner to Madrid? He's not going in January, or summer..."

The Leipzig sporting director appears to have closed the door on Real Madrid: "We're in negotiations with his agent over a new contract."

Timo Werner.

RB Leipzig sporting director Ralf Rangnick has responded to rumours linking Real Madrid with a move for star forward Timo Werner: “Not in January and not in the summer. We intend to keep Timo Werner with us. We’re already in talks with his agent over a new contract,” Rangnick said on Friday.

Werner, 21, has a contract at the Bundesliga club until 2020 and Real Madrid are not alone in casting covetous gazes at the Germany international, who has scored 11 times in 18 games for Leipzig this season. Werner admitted in Die Welt that the possibility of Real Madrid and other clubs watching his progress was flattering but Rangnick scoffed at the suggestion that his striker would be leaving: “I don’t take these rumours seriously at all and neither does our coach [Ralph Hassenhüttel],” he said.

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Real short of goals after Morata and Mariano departures

Real Madrid sold Mariano and Álvaro Morata last summer but did not buy in a direct replacement for either, with Borja Mayoral returning from a loan spell at Wolfsburg as understudy to Karim Benzema. However, Mayoral has not been enjoying much playing time and has been left out of 11 of 23 squads this season despite a scoring rate of a goal every 113 minutes.

Zinedine Zidane has not ruled out dipping into the market in January but the Bernabéu board are reluctant to recruit a number nine, largely because Vinicius Júnior, the Flamengo starlet purchased by Madrid for 45 million euros, is likely to arrive ahead of schedule next summer and also because the club is considering selling Gareth Bale due to his injury problems to make way for another forward, with Inter’s Mauro Icardi under consideration.


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