Liverpool’s prospects of luring Jude Bellingham to Anfield this year have been given a significant lift by Valentina Maceri, a presenter at BILD TV.
Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is desperate to bolster his midfield options in 2023 as he looks to add more thrust to his engine room. Indeed, that department was badly exposed on Saturday as Brighton ran out 3-0 winners in a match Klopp called the worst of his time in charge.
That situation is exasperated by the likelihood of at least two departures from that area this year. James Milner turned 37 earlier this month and there is a growing feeling he is in the final throes of his Anfield career.
Perhaps more pressingly, both Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are heading for the Anfield exit door this summer. The pair, out of contract on July 1, become free agents and can sign on the dotted line for a club of their choosing.
There’s even speculation that Oxlade-Chamberlain could depart this month should a decent offer come in for his services.
As a result, it’s little wonder to see Klopp targeting at least two new arrivals this year to bolster his midfield.
Addressing his transfer needs, Klopp recently claimed any new arrivals in the January window were unlikely.
And with the emphasis turning firmly on to the summer window, a trusted Liverpool oracle has named the two men at the top of Klopp’s wishlist.
Klopp’s No 1 target comes as no surprise with their interest in signing Bellingham widely reported.
And although the teenager is likely to come with a premium fee – which could top £120m – the Reds are likely to be among the frontrunners.
Bild presenter makes big claim on Bellingham to Liverpool
Despite that, Liverpool will have to battle off at least two rivals for his signature. And reports claim both Manchester City and Real Madrid will also compete to land the 19-year-old.
However, it is the Merseysiders who seemingly have the upper hand. A report earlier this month revealed they are to offer his father Mark – a former policeman – a job on their scouting staff to enhance their transfer prospects.
Talk in Germany this week has suggested Borussia Dortmund will try and persuade Bellingham to sign a new deal.
However, BILD TV presenter Maceri reckons that appears unlikely and the prospects of a move to Anfield are growing stronger for Bellingham.
“For now, I don’t think he will sign a new contract,” Maceri told Sky Sports News. “There has been no official offers as yet from Borussia Dortmund as of yet. And for now they want to give Bellingham all the time he needs to make a decision.
“For now, Bellingham wants to focus on Dortmund because at the weekend there is the reset of the Bundesliga.”
Three factors that could send Bellingham to Liverpool
Turning attention to Liverpool directly, Maceri added: “Our information is that his father is talking to Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp wants to sign him at Liverpool.
“But there is also Real Madrid and Manchester City in the game. I think everyone wants to have a player like Jude Bellingham. However, these three teams are the leading ones in the game of poker to sign him.”
She added: “Klopp says if Bellingham is going to sign for the money, he’s not going to choose Liverpool. But if Bellingham is to decide on his personal development as a player, and on tradition and for the love of the game, he could decide on Liverpool.”
Making a strong statement on his next move, Maceri added: “My gut is that maybe we could see him at Liverpool.”