Ornstein: Liverpool ‘increasingly unlikely’ to sign Bellingham as they face ‘major calls’
Liverpool are ‘increasingly unlikely’ to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham in the summer, according to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein.
The England international delivered another good performance on Saturday as leaders Dortmund beat Koln 6-1 in the Bundesliga to stay one point ahead of title rivals Bayern Munich.
Bellingham will be in demand this summer as Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City all reportedly have serious interest in landing the midfielder in the next transfer window.
There was a report earlier this week that Liverpool were Bellingham’s first-choice destination with the Dortmund star the ‘apple of Jurgen Klopp’s eye’.
However, the Reds have been struggling this season with Klopp’s side currently sixth in the Premier League and seven points off fourth-placed Tottenham with two games in hand.
Liverpool are out of all the cups too and Ornstein claims that it’s now ‘increasingly unlikely’ that they will sign top target Bellingham with ‘the anticipated fee, the financial power of rival suitors and their reticence about entering a bidding war at the level expected has cast significant doubt on Liverpool’s chances’.
Writing in The Athletic, Ornstein adds:
‘It does not mean their pursuit is off and no firm decisions have been made, although sources with knowledge of the matter think City and Real Madrid are in stronger positions at the moment.
‘Considering Liverpool will finish this season empty-handed in terms of trophies (other than August’s Community Shield victory over City), sit seven points outside the Champions League spots after 26 of their 38 games, have expiring contracts and are ageing in parts of the squad, some major calls are approaching, and recruitment work is taking place on multiple fronts and with various options.
‘Such factors will impact the budget and, in turn, Liverpool’s ultimate hopes of landing Bellingham.’
Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid are still ‘the most credible destinations’ but with no release clause it will take ‘a very high price to alter’ Dortmund’s stance on selling the player in the summer, especially as they are doing so well in the Bundesliga.
Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand claimed last week that Bellingham will choose Real Madrid over Liverpool unless the Premier League side can qualify for the Champions League.
“I just think if he’s watching that tonight, he’s sitting there thinking if Real Madrid and Liverpool are in for me, there’s only one place I can go, and [Liverpool] don’t finish [in the] Champions League [places] as well maybe,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“As a player, you look at it coldly and go ‘I see more trophies here’.”
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