Jude Bellingham is the English jewel at the centre of Real Madrid's young crown

Real Madrid agree £115m Jude Bellingham deal with Borussia Dortmund - Getty Images /Christof Koepsel

What does it say that Real Madrid are willing to spend up to £115 million to sign Jude Bellingham?

It says that although he may not be playing in the Premier League, English football has its most exciting talent in decades on its hands.

It says, as Borussia Dortmund coach Edin Terzic told Telegraph Sport in an exclusive interview earlier this year, that “he [Bellingham] will be one of the best players in the world for the next decade”.

It says that not only does arguably the highest-profile and most successful club in world football rate him so incredibly highly they want to make him the cornerstone of their team; the successor to Luka Modric.

It says this is the most significant transfer of a British footballer to a big European club since … when? It may not be as globally huge as David Beckham to Real in 2003 but it is in purely sporting terms. It is bigger than Gareth Bale or Michael Owen joining them.

Maybe if Wayne Rooney had gone to Real instead of Manchester United back in 2004 it would have been of a similar magnitude.

Rooney was even younger than Bellingham but unlike the midfielder he had not left the UK when he was just 16 to thrive at the second biggest club in Germany where he became one of their captains and where he was recently named Bundesliga player of the year.

And to think Bellingham is still a teenager until June 28 by which time he will have signed for Real and become their second most expensive ever acquisition. Given their most expensive is Eden Hazard, who they have just paid off with the club having grown sick of his lack of fitness, that can be a curse as well as a blessing.

But Bellingham is a different beast from Hazard, who appeared content with his life at Chelsea and only moved to Madrid because he felt he had to and because the offer was irresistible.

Bellingham is so highly regarded that Pep Guardiola was willing to re-shape his midfield at Manchester City, sacrificing captain Ilkay Gundogan and even Bernardo Silva, to pay for a deal to sign him.

City would have done whatever it takes if only Bellingham had agreed to sign because Guardiola recognised how significant he is going to become. That is the highest compliment.

Bellingham is so good that Manchester United would have stretched themselves financially to do it, that Chelsea wanted him, that Liverpool were desperate to anoint him as the player to finally fill Steven Gerrard’s boots.

The big question when news finally broke that Real and Dortmund had struck a deal over the financial package for Bellingham was simple: how much? When Dortmund informed the German Stock Exchange about the huge scale of the transfer no-one blinked an eye.

It is the going rate for a generational talent who Real view as part of an incredibly exciting young midfield, along with Eduardo Camavinga (20) and Aurelien Tchouameni (23) and also Federico Valverde (24) to service a fabulous, youthful forward line led by Vinicius Jnr (22) and, in their dreams, Kylian Mbappe (24).

Real Madrid agree deal to make Jude Bellingham most expensive English player in history - AP/Jon Super
Real Madrid agree deal to make Jude Bellingham most expensive English player in history - AP/Jon Super

Of course Real’s plan – and re-shaping the team around Bellingham was the brainchild of chief scout Juni Calafat – has been thrown by Karim Benzema’s decision to take the Saudi millions and decamp to their Pro-League.

Real wanted one more year out of the veteran striker before making their latest bid to sign Mbappe or, if they are to be believed, even Erling Haaland. But Mbappe appears more get-able. Now they will have to find an immediate solution and coach Carlo Ancelotti certainly wants Harry Kane.

It seems highly unlikely that Real can afford to sign Kane and Bellingham this summer although quite how they manage to finance their deals is something of a mystery. But they seem to find the cash.

The most likely scenario is a cheaper, short-gap option. Bellingham was their No 1 target and even Benzema’s decision, as momentous as it was, was not going to derail the transfer. Bellingham is that important to Real’s present and future and while it is a shame that he is not returning to English football it is exciting to see what he can become in the white heat of playing for Real Madrid.