Chelsea target Jude Bellingham set for Dortmund talks as club admit they ‘can’t afford to have a fight’

In-demand: Jude Bellingham is set to be one of the hottest properties on the transfer market  (Getty Images)
In-demand: Jude Bellingham is set to be one of the hottest properties on the transfer market (Getty Images)

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke admits the club simply cannot afford to “fight financially” to keep Jude Bellingham.

The England international has been the subject of intense speculation after a remarkable season for the Bundesliga giants, one in which the 19-year-old has already scored nine goals in 22 appearances.

Expected to play a leading role in Gareth Southgate’s side at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Bellingham has most recently been linked with a major money move to Real Madrid.

Standard Sport understand Bellingham has emerged as a major target for Chelsea too, with strengthening in central midfield a priority at Stamford Bridge.

The former Birmingham City youngster will have entered the final two years of his contract at Dortmund by the time the summer transfer window rolls around, putting the German side in a difficult position ahead of talks with the player.

Should Bellingham not sign an extension, next summer provides the last real opportunity to sell him at anything approaching his true value.

“After Qatar, we’ll have a discussion about what Jude actually wants. He should just tell us whether he wants to stay or leave”, Watzke told BILD TV.

“If the really big clubs are involved, then we can’t afford to have a fight financially”.