Borussia Dortmund will reportedly demand £131million for Liverpool target Jude Bellingham next summer, but that fresh fee could yet rise again.
The 19-year-old has emerged as a generational talent following his move to the Bundesliga club. Not only has he lit up the German top flight, he is also starring in the Champions League.
Indeed, he put in a standout performance against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month.
Reports have long linked Bellingham with a move to the Premier League. And Liverpool have had some of the strongest ties to him. Their midfield issues are clear and the Reds will reportedly wait for their top target in 2023.
Previous reports have put Bellingham’s value at just over £100million given his current ability and potential.
According to The Athletic, though, Dortmund want £131million for the England midfielder. But, with the World Cup coming up later this year, that fee – and his wage demands – could increase even more.
And while Liverpool have some of the strongest links to Bellingham, Man City, Manchester United, Chelsea and Real Madrid all fancy their chances of signing him next year.
Dortmund did not want to sell Bellingham this year because they let Erling Haaland move to City. Reports have subsequently claimed that there is a realistic chance the midfielder leaves next summer.
But, The Athletic claims that Dortmund are in no way ‘resigned’ to simply letting him go. Instead, they plan to offer him a new contract and there have reportedly been no real talks with the Anfield club.
Liverpool missed Bellingham chance
The latest report adds that Liverpool failed with an attempt to sign Bellingham when he was just nine years old.
The former Birmingham star and his family travelled to Merseyside for a two-day trial at Liverpool’s Kirkby academy.
Liverpool pitched the idea of Bellingham moving to Merseyside in a compensation-based deal worth £9,000. However, his family opted against the move.
The Athletic continues by claiming Bellingham has formed a ‘close bond’ with Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson on the England scene.
However, it is highly unlikely that any movement over the teenager’s future takes place before the World Cup finishes.
Reds need to muscle in
Liverpool’s midfield problems were – and still are – clear to see. Jordan Henderson and James Milner have been loyal servants, but they are not getting any younger.
Thiago Alcantara is 31 and while he has added much-needed class and confidence to Jurgen Klopp’s midfield, he is in the same boat as his aforementioned colleagues.
Elsewhere, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are running down the final year of their contracts on the sidelines.
Liverpool responded in the end by signing Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus on transfer deadline day. Still, the Brazilian is not the long-term solution – Bellingham is.
He only turns 20 in June and so would have at least 10 years – likely a lot more – at the front and centre of any team he joins.
Given Liverpool tend to wait for their top targets – Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker cases in point – they could well do the same with Bellingham.
However, they will have to get their pitch at the second time of asking exactly right. The Reds of course failed with an attempt to sign Bellingham when he was a boy and will be hoping for a more positive outcome this time around.
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