Premier League • England

Liverpool ‘advancing’ in blockbuster Bellingham coup, as Klopp powerplay puts fear into transfer rivals

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham

Liverpool are leading the pack in the race to sign Jude Bellingham in 2023, with an encouraging report detailing the many advantages they’re pressing home.

It has long been established the future of Jude Bellingham will come to a head in 2023. The 19-year-old is already one of the finest midfielders in world football despite still being a teenager.

He’s added goals to his game this term with nine scored in 19 appearances. His leadership abilities have been rewarded with the captain’s armband at Dortmund in both Bundesliga and Champions League games this term.

Predictably, there is no shortage of suitors for such a heralded young superstar.

Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and Man City comprise the interested parties from the Premier League. The primary suitor outside of England is Real Madrid.

Of all five clubs, Liverpool and Chelsea’s need is arguably the greatest.

The Reds’ midfield deficiencies have been ruthlessly exposed this season. What’s more, James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are al out of contract next summer.

Chelsea, meanwhile, could see two of their three most reliable midfielders leave for nothing at season’s end. Mateo Kovacic, N’Golo Kante and Jorginho have anchored the Blues’ midfield in recent times, but Kante and Jorginho’s deals both expire next summer.

Dortmund do retain hope of convincing Bellingham to stay for at least one more season beyond this year. However, according to ESPN, the likeliest scenario is Bellingham departs in 2023, specifically in the summer.

The publication provide a comprehensive update on Bellingham’s future, and it makes great reading for Liverpool fans.

Liverpool surge into the lead

Firstly, the Reds are described as the ‘favourites’ to sign Bellingham who is expected to take the World Cup by storm later this month.

‘Multiple sources’ have told ESPN Liverpool are leading the pack, and one source with a foot in a rival suitor’s camp has claimed Liverpool are already ‘forging a close relationship with the player’s camp.’

Another source has claimed the ‘broad framework’ of a blockbuster deal that would bring Bellingham to Anfield may even be ‘advancing’ behind the scenes.

On the subject of how much a deal might cost – and whether Liverpool will stump up the cash – ESPN add a transfer could be worth anywhere between €100m-€150m.

That equates to roughly £87m-£131m, though there is hope among the interested clubs that Dortmund will sell for something nearer to the lower estimate.

CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs previously reported something similar when declaring Dortmund would be willing to sell for under £100m – providing the fee was paid up front and in full.

Liverpool may give themselves a mountain to climb financially if they miss out on Champions League qualification. After a dismal start, the Reds currently sit ninth in the table, eight points off Newcastle in fourth.

Klopp powerplay sparks FSG into life

Regardless, the Daily Mail recently claimed Klopp has laid down the law to owners FSG and told them Bellingham must be signed.

FSG responded, and per the Mail, are understood to have already set aside £86m to sign Bellingham.

ESPN echo that sentiment, adding Liverpool are ‘willing to commit a huge sum’ to land Bellingham. If rival interest sparks a bidding war, more money will be required, though there’s no indication FSG will pull out of the race.

The article concluded Liverpool’s rivals now fear they have ‘ground to make up’ on the Reds who have surged into the lead.

While a Bellingham deal will likely have to wait until next summer, there is mounting speculation Liverpool will act in January to help arrest their ailing season.

RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer is one player drawing increasing links with the Reds.

The Austria international was mentioned as a Liverpool target over the summer, though they opted to hold fire and to wait until 2023 before splashing the cash. Arthur Melo did arrive on loan, though only when injuries struck and the Brazilian was always viewed as a short-term fix anyway.

Given their poor start to the season and the threat of missing out on UCL qualification, the situation has now changed.

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