Premier League • England

Liverpool director comes up 50% short with opening Jude Bellingham gambit as FSG alter takeover stance

John Henry, Linda Pizzuti, FSG, Liverpool FC owners at Anfield

Liverpool may have to reconsider their position to sign Jude Bellingham with the initial fee seemingly pledged by FSG to secure his signing destined to fall well below Dortmund’s valuation.

Demand to sign the Borussia Dortmund teenager has reached new heights on the back of some titanic displays at the World Cup. His form in the group stages was excellent but he raised it to new heights with a sublime display against Senegal. Even the impossibly-hard-to-please Roy Keane was impressed!

Now speculation over Bellingham’s future is nearing fever pitch. And while his focus remains on England’s huge tussle with France in the World Cup quarter-finals, reports over his future continue to dominate headlines.

As such, it’s easy to see why he figures on this list of stars whose value has soared while in Qatar.

The mad rush to sign Bellingham seemingly has three clubs involved. And with Manchester United now reportedly out the race, Liverpool will battle Real Madrid and Man City for his signature.

And of that trio, it seems that Liverpool are emerging as the favourites. Jurgen Klopp is desperate to freshen up his midfield and has made a beeline to Bellingham’s services. Indeed, the 19-year-old is very much priority No 1 for Klopp.

Those hopes were given a lift on Wednesday amid claims that Bellingham’s family are opting to make Anfield the star’s next destination.

Furthermore, their chances of securing his signing are also on the rise too amid a report in SportsBILD.

They claim that Bellingham will officially tell Dortmund he wants to leave the Westfalenstadion once his World Cup journey is over.

However, his prospective move to Liverpool looks far from cut and dried amid a disagreement over his valuation.

Jude Bellingham transfer fee may prove an issue to FSG

Dortmund, understandably, rate their midfielder extremely highly and are ready to ask top whack for his services. And widespread reports claim they have put a €150m (£129.5m) price tag on his head.

Given his age, where he stands in the world game and other transfer fees, that hardly seems unreasonable.

However, according to SportsBILD, there remains a big issue over what Liverpool are willing to pay. They write that Fenway Sports Group director Mike Gordon has allocated €100m (£86.4m) for his signing. That currently falls some 50% short of Dortmund‘s valuation.

There are of course ways and means in which Liverpool can structure the deal. And their success in getting deals over the line for the likes of Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez certainly gives them hope. And in signing the South American pair from Porto and Benfica, respectively, Liverpool pulled off their signings by offering significant financial extras based on performances.

It’s not out the question that Liverpool will try and do the same with Dortmund.

And the question remains just how much of his fee they want up front and how much Liverpool are willing to spend.

Fabrizio Romano reports that Klopp has made clear to the club’s owners that Bellingham must be signed at all costs.

However, there comes further relief with another update from SportsBILD. They write that Bellingham’s father Mark and advisor Mark Bennett have already told Real Madrid that talks to take Bellingham to Liverpool are ‘very far along’.

And Mark Bellingham also believes that the move to Liverpool is absolutely the ‘right step’ for his son.

FSG alter stance on Liverpool sale

The whole transfer saga is also being played out against the backdrop of the news that Liverpool are up for sale.

It emerged last month that FSG are ready to consider selling their stake in the Reds after 12 years of ownership. And amid claims they were seeking around £4bn for the 2020 Premier League champions, a number of would-be suitors have come forward.

However, no firm offers are yet to arrive on the table. Regardless, it would take some weeks, possibly months, for any such sale to go through.

Now, according to the Daily Mirror, FSG have dramatically altered their stance on selling Liverpool FC.

They write that, rather than looking for a straight sale, they now prefer the option of retaining their ownership and attracting fresh investment.

The decision comes from principle owner John Henry, who now wants an injection of cash rather than calling time on FSG’s regime. And he believes they remain the right stewards to lead the club after a number of successful years.

That stance was also recently hinted at by club chairman Tom Werner, who told the Boston Globe: “We’re exploring a sale, but there’s no urgency, no time frame for us, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s business as usual. One outcome could be our continued stewardship for quite a while.”

And if Henry’s new plan comes to fruition, the first thing to consider will be how best to finance and find common ground on the signing of Bellingham.

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