A Jude Bellingham transfer update makes grim reading for Liverpool fans, while a second report has doubled down on the bad news for Jurgen Klopp.
Much was expected at Anfield this season after the Reds came within 180 minutes of completing a historic quadruple last year. However, Liverpool limped out of the gate with a 2-2 draw against Fulham on opening day and they’re still yet to hit top speed.
A three-match winning streak had suggested the corner had been turned. However, a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest last time out was a stark reminder all is not well on Merseyside.
The midfield is arguably the biggest concern. Jamie Carragher is aghast at Fabinho’s drop-off, while one pundit reckons Fabio Carvalho is in desperate need of a loan spell away.
Thiago Alcantara continues to struggle with injury. Furthermore, Paul Scholes has suggested something is not quite right between Klopp and Jordan Henderson.
Elsewhere, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are out of contract next summer. Arthur Melo will not see his ill-fated loan move turned permanent.
As such, hopes are high among the Liverpool fanbase of a bumper spend in the market next summer.
Jude Bellingham, 19, is understood to be their primary target and CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs previously claimed they – along with Real Madrid – have been putting in plenty of work behind the scenes.
Reports have varied wildly as to how much the Dortmund superstar will cost. Figures as high as £131m have been cited, while those as low as £83m – if paid up front and in full – have also been reported.
For Liverpool fans’ sake, they’ll certainly be hoping Dortmund don’t hold out for nine figures.
FSG pull the rug from under Klopp
That’s because a report from the Times has claimed Liverpool’s owners, FSG, are ‘unlikely’ to meet Dortmund’s valuation of Bellingham.
The midfield ace’s talents are no secret and any and all observers knew he would move for a colossal fee when the time comes to leave Dortmund.
As such, it beggars belief FSG would be taken off guard when faced with a potential club-record outlay to sign Bellingham.
If the Times’ report is accurate and the American owners are reluctant to sanction a big raid, questions will be asked why they began pursuing Bellingham in the first place if they were ultimately unwilling to put their money where their mouth is.
Another pertinent question will be if they’re not on board with such an expensive signing, why didn’t they buy a cheaper midfielder last summer and avert the midfield issues Klopp is currently navigating.
One such player the Reds were linked with was Matheus Nunes who went on to join Wolves for around £38m.
Adding further to the bad news for Liverpool is a report out of Spain claiming Bellingham’s preferred destination isn’t Anfield.
He’s known to count Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid among his suitors.
However, according to Sky Sports (who cite the Spanish press), Bellingham’s preference is to join Real Madrid if indeed he does leave Dortmund.
All in all, it’s a pretty bad day for those wanting to see Bellingham in a Liverpool shirt next season.