Liverpool are “optimistic” they’ll be the ones to sign Jude Bellingham with talks “already held”, and a Sky Sports reporter claimed Jurgen Klopp will offer the England ace something incredibly unique.
The Reds’ biggest issue this season is by no means a secret. A lack of drive, determination, energy and legs in midfield is hampering Jurgen Klopp’s side everywhere they turn.
Liverpool have gone from being the toughest team to play against to among the easiest. Indeed, that statement is reflected in the fact Liverpool are conspicuously high in the ‘big chances conceded’ category this season.
The current midfield crop’s inability – or unwillingness – to press ensures two things. Firstly they no longer win the ball back quickly and are thus prevented from providing their forwards with snap chances in transition.
Secondly, it allows opposition playmakers time and space on the ball to exploit the high defensive line.
Liverpool are fully aware of their deficiencies, though new arrivals aren’t expected until the summer.
Liverpool eye double midfield coup
A double coup continues to gain traction of late, with Wolves’ Matheus Nunes and Jude Bellingham of Dortmund both linked.
CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs provided a wholly encouraging update on Nunes on Thursday, while BILD TV presenter, Valentina Maceri, did the same for Bellingham 24 hours prior.
The 19-year-old England ace is the Reds’ primary target despite the fact he could cost well over £100m.
Liverpool are understood to have laid the most groundwork for a move, though competition will still be fierce from the likes of Man City and Real Madrid in particular.
Now, speaking on Sky Sports News, reporter Kaveh Solhekol cited his colleagues over in Germany when explaining Liverpool’s optimism.
Klopp’s side have reportedly held talks in some form or fashion regarding the move, though did acknowledge Klopp hasn’t actually spoken to Bellingham personally.
Bellingham can be the next Gerrard
In any case, it’s claimed Liverpool are ready to push the boat out for Bellingham by promising him the chance to become ‘the new Steven Gerrard’.
“Sky Germany are reporting that Liverpool are optimistic about signing Jude Bellingham in the summer,” said Solhekol.
“They say talks have been held but crucially, the player has not spoken to Jurgen Klopp.
“No official offer has been made by Liverpool yet, But according to Sky Germany, Liverpool are offering him the possibility of becoming the new Steven Gerrard.
“We know lots of clubs are potentially interested in signing him in the summer – Real Madrid, Liverpool, PSG, Chelsea, Man City.
“But Sky Germany are saying this afternoon that Liverpool are optimistic of signing him in the summer and talks have already been held.”
Exactly what making Bellingham “the new Gerrard” entails isn’t clear, though in broader terms, it could mean he’s quickly installed as the main man in midfield.
Furthermore, it could mean Bellingham being given the captain’s armband despite his tender age.
Jordan Henderson is the current choice and James Milner is vice-captain. However, Milner rarely features these days and is out of contract at season’s end. Henderson, meanwhile, is no longer the regular starter he once was and may be the one to drop out of Bellingham signs anyway.
Gerrard succeeded Sami Hyypia as Reds skipper in 2003 aged just 23 at the time. Among Bellingham’s lengthy list of traits is his leadership which has shone through when interviewed and also with England in Qatar.
Maceri of Bild acknowledged that if Bellingham moves for money, Liverpool are likely to be left empty-handed.
However, Ben Jacobs has always stressed money won’t be the primary motivator for Bellingham and it appears Liverpool are willing to do everything they can away from the financial aspect of the deal to lure Bellingham to Anfield.