Premier League • England

Klopp gets ball rolling on blockbuster Liverpool transfer next summer, with Julian Ward given clear task

Jude Bellingham, England v Hungary June 2022

Jurgen Klopp has reportedly told Liverpool sporting director Julian Ward to hunt a top new midfield signing – with Jude Bellingham the standout name.

The Reds have enjoyed a fast start to this summer’s transfer window but also look to have finished their spending. Three signings later and Liverpool have made significant additions for different reasons.

Darwin Nunez, who could end up costing a club-record £85million, is a replacement for Bayern Munich-bound Sadio Mane as well as a long-term striker option.

Right-back Calvin Ramsay – the third arrival – is a promising right-back who is an exciting Liverpool prospect.

Finally, Fabio Carvalho has arrived in the midfield from Fulham but is similarly a work in progress at only 19.

The Reds have therefore not added an experienced head to their ageing midfield. According to the Sunday Mirror, though, the issue is at the forefront of Klopp’s mind.

Indeed, the manager has made a new midfield signing next summer the top priority for Anfield sporting director Ward.

Klopp wants a ‘young, multi-functional operator with technique and athleticism’, the report says.

Bellingham stands out for Liverpool

England pair Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice

And the name that stands out from their initial groundwork is Jude Bellingham. The Borussia Dortmund star has burst onto the scene in recent seasons after his initial emergence at Birmingham.

The 18-year-old, who celebrates his birthday at the end of June, left the West Midlands for Germany in the summer of 2020 in an ambitious move.

However, he has flourished in the Bundesliga and the Champions League. That has allowed Bellingham to reach similarly impressive heights with England.

At Euro 2020, the teenager became the youngest England player to feature at a European Championship. He now has 15 caps to his name and is certain to feature at the World Cup in Qatar if he stays fit.

Klopp wants to ensure that Liverpool are in ‘pole position’ to snap Bellingham up next season. They are aware that he will be in demand, but know they have spent big to get their targets when required – such as Virgil van Dijk and Darwin Nunez.

And Dortmund are looking to maximise their profit, given they only sold Erling Haaland – arguably the most promising striker in Europe – for his £51million release clause.

Liverpool need top-class midfielder

Liverpool’s midfield was impressive last season but also their shortfall at times.

And despite Carvalho and Harvey Elliott driving the average age down, the average age of those more experienced is creeping up.

Jordan Henderson has recently turned 32, with Thiago Alcantara celebrating his 31st birthday in April.

Liverpool need to solve glaring problem after Nunez deal

Liverpool have bolstered their front line with Darwin Nunez, but midfield is another urgent priority for Jurgen Klopp to sort out.

Fabinho is 28, with Naby Keita turning 28 next year. And with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain potentially leaving this summer, the calls for a new midfield signing will grow stronger.

Bellingham may be younger than both Elliott and Carvahlo, but the fact that he has racked up so much Bundesliga, Champions League and England experience already says everything about the belief in him.