Liverpool will reportedly not be strengthening their midfield with a new signing late on in the summer transfer window, instead eyeing Jude Bellingham next year.
Manager Jurgen Klopp performed a U-turn on his transfer plans last week by revealing an arrival was in the works. The Reds still have three senior midfielders out, even if Curtis Jones has returned to full training.
And Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have struggled to prove their fitness anyway.
A host of names have consequently emerged on Liverpool’s reported transfer radar in the past few days.
Sheffield United’s Sander Berge, Inter’s Nicolo Barella and RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer are all – among others – supposedly under consideration.
But the Daily Mail reports that Liverpool – led by their Fenway Sports Group (FSG) owners – have ‘accepted’ that they will not get a midfielder in before Thursday’s transfer cut-off.
They are instead banking on signing Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund next summer.
Dortmund did not want to sell the 19-year-old England international this summer. They hardened that stance after Manchester City signed their star striker Erling Haaland.
Recent reports have talked of a Liverpool verbal agreement in place for Bellingham next summer. The teenager is expected to cost just over £100million next year.
Liverpool prepared to wait for Bellingham
While Klopp got tongues wagging with his Liverpool midfield transfer admission, he did urge caution.
The Reds have stuck to a well-executed strategy of going for only the right player, with a Plan B or panic signing consistently disregarded.
And after the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, Bellingham looks an ideal target to wait for.
Meanwhile, Brighton’s Moises Caicedo has been the subject of £42million bid talk from Anfield.
But Seagulls boss Graham Potter has said he is “calm” and “confident” that the 20-year-old Ecuadori star will stay at the Amex Stadium.
Elsewhere, Klopp is supposedly a fan of Italy international Barella. The 25-year-old Inter star would reportedly cost between £75million and £100million in the current window, though.
And at a similar fee – but six years younger and with arguably more potential – Liverpool feel, it seems, that Bellingham is their man.
Leicester’s Belgium international Youri Tielemans is a further option for the Reds this summer. The 25-year-old, valued at between £25million and £30million, could join the Foxes exile with only one year left on his contract.
But Wolves boss Bruno Lage has ruled out his star man Ruben Neves going anywhere before the deadline.
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