Chief executive Oliver Mintzlaff admits he will be left with little choice but to sell Timo Werner if he refuses to sign a new contract at RB Leipzig
The 22-year-old forward is highly-rated in German football and has been strongly linked with a switch to Bayern Munich.
Werner has scored 11 times in 17 Bundesliga games for Leipzig this season, which is one more than Bayern’s star striker Robert Lewandowski has managed.
The Germany international’s contract at the Red Bull Arena will expire in June 2020 and Werner recently revealed he’s under no pressure to make a decision over his future.
But, for Mintzlaff, a decision must be made ideally as soon as possible for Leipzig.
“Of course, we have to know at the latest after the end of the season,” Mintzlaff told Kicker.
“Because of course, a club like us cannot afford to go with Timo Werner into the final year of his contract.
“It’s logical that such a player should be courted by clubs that have a very different sporting perspectives and different financial possibilities than we have, but as long as we evolve as a club, Champions League participation would be very helpful.”
The 43-year-old did add that Leipzig and Werner have the same understanding over his future at the club.
Leipzig, who are fourth in the Bundesliga, will take on leaders Borussia Dortmund on January 19 for their first game of 2019.