The first was Roman Wallner, an Austrian striker. At that time, RB Leipzig was still at the very beginning of its rise to power in European football, which had been planned on the drawing board. Wallner was brought to Saxony by Red Bull Salzburg ten and a half years ago and should ensure that the leap into the 3rd division succeeds in the summer.
After all, he scored six times in his 16 appearances, but RB exceptionally missed promotion on his march from the Oberliga to the Bundesliga in 2012 and had to sit in detention for a year. Wallner went straight back to Austria, but a start had been made.
Today, the route from Salzburg to Leipzig is probably the most well-trodden path on the transfer market. At the latest with the promotion to the second division in 2014, the internal balance of power had shifted as hoped and planned. Since then, Leipzig has been the center of the grown football cosmos of Red Bull and thus the destination for the talents brought to Salzburg or Liefering and trained.
The commitment of the Austrian beverage manufacturer is based on offering players ideal development opportunities and, with its numerous teams and clubs, providing the right environment and level of performance for every career step.
With Salzburg’s Benjamin Sesko, those responsible in the group see maturity for the (German) Bundesliga and Champions League and want to sign a contract for RB Leipzig with the Slovenian talent that is valid until 2027. In fact, it is the extension of the collaboration that started in 2019. At 16 he played for the Red Bull training team from FC Liefering in the second Austrian league, last year he went over to FC Red Bull Salzburg in league one and after another year with the Austrian champions he should take the next step in 2023.
Officially, however, it is a change of club like any other. It is said that Leipzig prevailed against top clubs such as Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea when it came to wooing the talent. Which is not entirely wrong, after all, two years ago, it actually failed to keep a jewel in the group: Erling Haaland preferred to go to Borussia Dortmund instead of following the path from Salzburg to Leipzig. On the other hand, it’s amusing to imagine how Leipzig negotiate with Salzburg about players. Especially when the formality is presented in public as a tough negotiation.
There have been a few of those in the past. Sesko, who has already played two games for the Slovenian senior team, will become the 21st player to join RB from Red Bull eleven and a half years after Wallner. His other predecessors are Teigl, Dähne, Hierländer, Reyna, Rodnei, Gulacsi, Ilsanker, Quaschner, Keita, Massimo Bruno, Sabitzer, Schmitz, Bernardo, Upamecano, Laimer, Haidara, Wolf, Hwang and Szoboszlai.
Sesko will then meet Timo Werner. The international is expected to sign a five-year contract on Tuesday. On Monday evening, the 26-year-old landed at Leipzig/Halle Airport around 8:30 p.m. in a private plane belonging to the RB consortium, then climbed directly onto the tarmac into a black limousine and was taken to a hotel in the city of Leipzig. After a medical check this Tuesday, the change should be made official.