Premier League • England

Jude Bellingham: Arsenal tipped to spring transfer surprise as club legend reveals factors owing to shock deal

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham

Arsenal can beat a number of big-name rivals to the signing of Jude Bellingham this summer, with legendary goalkeeper David Seaman talking up their chances of pulling off a transfer masterstroke.

The England midfielder was not at his best on Friday night after being subbed early during the 0-0 draw with USA. However, after an excellent display in the Three Lions’ World Cup opener against Iran last Monday, demand for Bellingham remains high.

Indeed, operating in a more advanced midfield position this season, Bellingham has added goals and assists to his game. And with his five appearances for Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this season yielding four goals, never has demand been higher.

To further his cause, Gary Neville has labelled Bellingham as the ‘perfect modern day midfielder’.

Speaking before the USA draw, Neville said: “If you wanted to design the perfect midfielder for the modern game, it is Bellingham he would look like.”

To that end, reports claim the Bundesliga club are likely to demand as much as £130m (€150m) for the player.

Predictably, several Premier League big hitters are desperate to get their hands on him. Liverpool are perhaps the strongest linked, with Jurgen Klopp desperate to bolster his midfield. Their hopes were recently giving a push forward by the trusted Fabrizio Romano.

But there are also Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea also on the scene. Our exclusive, though, recently revealed why one of them has been ruled out of the equation by the player himself.

Real Madrid are also lurking too, though, they would likely step aside were a transfer auction to take place.

One name who rarely gets mentioned in the same breath as Bellingham are Arsenal.

However, former goalkeeper Seaman believes the Gunners could pull off a transfer surprise by winning the race.

Jude Bellingham to Arsenal can happen

The legendary shot-stopper, speaking to the Daily Express, believes the Gunners have a chance of landing him.

When asked where he sees Bellingham playing next, Seaman responded: “Arsenal, hopefully. I would like to think they’ve got a realistic chance of signing him but it depends on how they finish the season.

“It’s so weird that we’re almost halfway through a season and we’ve paused it, with players still to go back.”

He added: “I would love to see him at Arsenal. He’s a special player. He looks like he’s been playing for England for the last 10 years. He’s so special for his age.”

While Seaman is optimistic, it looks a tall order for Arsenal to fund a signing worth up to £130m for one player. And while he would fit their mould, the price just looks too much from a Gunners point of view.

James Maddison tipped to replace Jude Bellingham

Despite Bellingham’s rise to superstardom, he may yet be rested as part of a midfield reshuffle in the final group game against Wales.

England need to avoid a four-goal defeat to ensure their place in the next round.

Among those many are suggesting could come in are James Maddison. However, Seaman reckons England coach Gareth Southgate has handled the Leicester star brilliantly.

“His role at the tournament will depend on how his injury is,” Seaman added. “That’s the most important thing. Don’t forget, you’ve got Kyle Walker to come back in as well. With Maddison, it’s just a case of making sure he’s ready when he comes in.

“He can come on and affect games. You’ve also got Kalvin Phillips who can provide something more defensively. But with Maddison you’ve got that option of attacking, putting him on set pieces. He’s a good inclusion in the squad but you’ve got to make sure he’s fit first and foremost.”

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