Jude Bellingham stated you’ll “be angry” when detailing how he’s approaching his future amid links to Europe’s biggest clubs, while Liverpool’s transfer strategy could leave Jurgen Klopp empty-handed.
Where Jude Bellingham plays to begin the next campaign promises to be one of the biggest stories in 2023. The England and Dortmund ace, 19, counts a lengthy list of Europe’s biggest clubs among his admirers.
Indeed, Real Madrid like what they see and view him as another part of their midfield evolution.
Casemiro has moved on, while Toni Kroos and Luka Modric are deep into their 30s. Los Blancos have already signed Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni, and adding Bellingham to a corps that also contains Fede Valverde will tee up Real for the rest of the 2020s.
From England, all four of Manchester United, Man City, Liverpool and Chelsea are interested.
Dortmund do retain hope of tying the midfielder down to fresh terms and will attempt to do just that after the World Cup. However, despite being a giant in Germany, Dortmund rarely retain their biggest names for the long haul.
Reports have varied wildly as to how much a Bellingham deal will cost. Figures as high as £130m have been touted, while those as low as £83m have been mentioned – providing it’s paid up front and in full.
Bellingham has added a killer instinct to his game this season, with eight goals in his first 18 matches for Dortmund. Showcasing his maturity, he’s also captained the side in the Champions League despite still being a teenager.
Now, speaking after Dortmund’s 0-0 draw with Man City on Tuesday night, Bellingham set the record straight on the transfer speculation and how he himself is reacting to the noise.
Bellingham not looking to the future just yet
The Dortmund superstar stressed his sole focus right now is on Dortmund and he’s not even thinking about next month’s World Cup.
He admitted his desire to keep his cards close to his chest will anger those looking for a headline in the media, though did refuse to pour cold water on the exit talk when concluding “we’ll see what happens”.
“In all honesty I’m not thinking about anything like that [the transfer rumours],” said Bellingham (via the Metro).
“You [the media] will be angry with me as you won’t get a headline, but I’m just focused on the next games with Borussia Dortmund.
“I’m not even thinking about the World Cup. I’m trying to win games with Borussia Dortmund and then we’ll see what happens.”
CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs previously reported that of all the English suitors, it’s Liverpool who have put in the most work behind the scenes.
The Reds’ midfield is in desperate need of an overhaul, not least because Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are off contract next summer.
Liverpool pull rug from under Klopp?
Klopp is a known admirer of Bellingham and previously joked the “only problem” with the player is he wasn’t available to buy last summer.
Aside from a late Arthur Melo loan swoop, Liverpool kept their powder dry with regards to midfield additions last window.
The theory was Liverpool were and are waiting for Bellingham to become available in 2023. Indeed, Klopp repeatedly stressed Liverpool would only move for the right player – not just any player – in the market.
However, a worrying report from the Times has raised serious questions about Liverpool’s willingness to spend big for Bellingham.
They reported it’s looking ‘unlikely’ Liverpool’s owners, FSG will meet Dortmund’s valuation.
Bellingham would likely set Liverpool’s transfer record if signed and the Reds decision-makers seemingly have doubts about doing just that.
However, any and all observers could see Bellingham would cost a mammoth fee if and when he does move. If the Times report is accurate, FSG will have some explaining to do if Klopp is left empty-handed once again.
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