Timo Werner has acknowledged he will likely need to leave RB Leipzig if he wants to establish himself as a “world-class” forward.
The Germany international has developed into one of the Bundesliga’s most highly rated young players, particularly since joining Leipzig from Stuttgart in 2016.
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and AC Milan have all been linked with the 22-year-old, while Bayern Munich have reportedly identified the striker as the ideal potential replacement for Robert Lewandowski.
And Werner thinks he will only become one of the world’s best players if he follows the example of team-mate Naby Keita, who is to join Liverpool on July 1.
“To become a world-class player, I’ll probably have to play in an even better team at club level,” Werner told Welt. “I still have four or five years in which to learn.
“I want to be really honest. Naby Keita hasn’t become world class with us, either, but he might now with Liverpool.
“To become world class, you have to play in big games, like the final or semi-final of the Champions League.”
Werner scored 13 goals in 28 starts for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and four in five in the Europa League in 2017-18.
He is expected to be named in Joachim Low’s final 23-man squad for the World Cup, having been called up to the provisional group last month.