Liverpool are now in ‘pole position’ to land Borussia Dortmund youngster Jude Bellingham over the next couple of transfer windows, according to reports.
The England international has been in brilliant form for Dortmund over the last couple of seasons with the 19-year-old now regarded as one of the best midfielders in world football.
Bellingham has seven goals and three assists in 20 matches in all competitions with five of those goal contributions coming in the Champions League.
Liverpool have been monitoring Bellingham – who has been selected in England’s 26-man World Cup squad – for a long time with rumours they wanted to buy him last summer.
There was no way Dortmund were going to let Bellingham go though with the Bundesliga side already allowing Erling Haaland to leave for Manchester City.
Real Madrid, Manchester United Chelsea and Manchester City are among the other sides who have been linked with the midfielder but Football Insider now claims that Liverpool are now in ‘pole position’.
Liverpool are ‘willing to commit a huge sum’ to secure the services of Bellingham with the report adding that ‘a sensational January deal is possible’.
The Premier League club have ‘held preliminary talks with intermediaries about a potential deal’ and are ‘busy behind the scenes on forging a strong relationship with Bellingham’s camp’.
Football Insider continue by saying that Liverpool ‘have made progress on the broad framework of what would be a club-record deal’ with the 19-year-old’s father Mark Bellingham – who ‘is far more influential than agents or intermediaries’ – leaning towards a move to Anfield.
Bellingham is Liverpool’s top midfield target and Dortmund are ‘expected to allow Bellingham to leave, even in January, although a summer transfer is regarded as more likely at this stage’.
Owen Hargreaves and Rio Ferdinand recently waxed lyrical about Bellingham ahead of one of Dortmund’s group stage clashes with Manchester City.
“The kid is amazing,” Hargreaves said on BT Sport.
“To be that mature for that age is frightening. What he’s been able to achieve is out of this world.
“He’s going to get too big for Dortmund, with all due respect to them. Any team would want him. The kid walks into Real Madrid, Barcelona, anywhere.”
Fellow pundit Ferdinand added: “He would improve any team in the world. I think he’s that good.
“For young players that are aspiring to become footballers I think you’ve got to understand your attitude and maturity plays such a big part.
“At 19 years old, in Champions League football, how many people would go ‘Oh we’ll give him the armband’.
“There was a queue that would go out of the dressing room door before we would get it and you are talking about even the best of our generation – the Steven Gerrards, Frank Lampards, the Wayne Rooneys. They weren’t going to be captains in the Champions League at 19 years old.
“This kid, it’s like ‘We’ll give it to him’ and there’s no qualms about it, no questions, because mentally he is ready.”
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