Liverpool are unlikely to be lured into a bidding war with the likes of Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund if Birmingham set Jude Bellingham’s asking price at £50 million ($65m), says Steve McManaman.
The Reds are among those said to be closely monitoring the situation of a much-coveted 16-year-old.
It is considered to be only a matter of time before Bellingham’s potential is lured away from St Andrew’s in a big-money deal.
Despite his tender years and lack of senior experience, the athletic midfielder is already being billed as one of the hottest prospects in English football.
It has been suggested that United are willing to add him to a growing pot of home-grown talent at Old Trafford, while German giants Dortmund are also reported to be in the hunt.
Liverpool are another who would welcome the opportunity to add a star of tomorrow to their ranks, but McManaman believes a hefty price tag and healthy academy system on Merseyside will keep Jurgen Klopp out of the Bellingham market.
The former Reds star told HorseRacing.net: “I’ve heard a lot about him through working in academy football, and his reputation is very good.
“He’s only 16 and he seems to be linked with everybody nowadays.
“There was a story about Manchester United being interested in him, and all it’s done for Birmingham City is that it’s increased Jude’s price tag.
“I don’t know if Liverpool would be interested considering the figures that are being associated with him. Three months ago I read that he was valued at £30 million and now I hear it’s £50 million.
“Liverpool already have very good young players in their academy, so I’d be surprised if they would join the chase for Jude with that sort of money being talked about.”
McManaman has been talking up one of those to have stepped out of Liverpool’s youth system in recent years.
Trent Alexander-Arnold is still only 21 years of age but has already taken in over 120 appearances for the Reds, become a Champions League winner and Premier League title hopeful.
A steady stream of assists has made him one of the most productive performers in the English top-flight, and McManaman believes he is now the finest player on the planet in his chosen position.
The ex-England international added on Alexander-Arnold: “He’s been amazing for the club this season, and he works really well with Andy Robertson; the way that Liverpool set up without natural wide players up top means that the full-backs give them width, and they’ve both been fantastic.
“When you look at the right-backs around the world, you’d have to say that Trent is the currently the best.
“You’d have him ahead of Dani Carvajal of Real Madrid or Danilo at Juventus, and now that Bayern Munich are playing Joshua Kimmich in midfield, then Trent is at least up there with the very best in the world.
“Principally his job for Liverpool is that he’s an attacking full-back and an assist provider, and his stats prove how well he is performing consistently.”