Premier League • England

Southgate hints at Bellingham Prem transfer talks amid Dortmund worries, as Liverpool face stern rivals

Jude Bellingham, Jordan Henderson England v Romania June 2021

England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed talks with Jude Bellingham and hinted that the in-demand midfielder has to consider a Premier League switch.

Bellingham is still only 18 but has the world at his feet following his incredible recent rise. Following standout performances in the Championship with Birmingham, he attracted immense interest.

Indeed, Manchester United took him on a tour of their Carrington training complex. However, the Englishman chose Borussia Dortmund and he has become a key star in both the Bundesliga and in Europe.

What’s more, he became the youngest ever player to feature at a European Championship last summer. He reached 10 England caps in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Switzerland and therefore looks nailed-on to feature at the World Cup.

Nevertheless, Southgate has insisted that Bellingham can only go so far at Dortmund. The Three Lions boss has suggested that the midfielder should look to move to the Premier League.

Southgate told the Daily Mirror: “The league [Bundesliga] is definitely a brilliant league for young players and coaches to develop but of course the standard of the Premier League is undoubtedly higher. I think we see that in the European competitions.

“Our top teams are going to be right at the end of the Champions League every year.

“The financial power of our league is blowing everyone else out of the water so our big teams are going to be the main players in those competitions as they have been in the last years really.

“We’ve talked to him about his game this week. There are things, understandably for any player, for him to work on and for him some specifics we are looking for from him. But he is very coachable, wants to learn and is highly motivated.”

Bellingham worth £150m as Liverpool interested

Jude Bellingham is a Liverpool target with £150m price tag from Borussia Dortmund next summer

Dortmund are still fighting Bayern Munich for the Bundesliga title this season. In Europe, though, they dropped into the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group. Furthermore, they lost to Rangers at the first hurdle.

Southgate added, though, that Bellingham is fine where is for now in getting an all-round midfield education.

“He is already getting brilliant experiences with club and European football already so he’ll be involved in the game and it will be good to see how he does, he is developing exceptionally well for a player of his age,” Southgate said ahead of the clash with Ivory Coast on Tuesday.

“He is being asked to play in a number of different positions this year.

“Dortmund have played 3-4-3 where he has been one of the double pivots, 4-3-3 where he plays as one of the 8s and a diamond where he has played on the outside of a diamond. He has different tactical challenges to deal with. The team have been a bit inconsistent.”

Liverpool face Bellingham transfer battle

Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham

As for where Bellingham could go, Liverpool reportedly have some of the strongest Premier League interest in him.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wants his club to make the 18-year-old a record Anfield arrival. Indeed, Klopp feels Bellingham can become the best midfielder in the world.

According to Bild, though, Real Madrid are also after the teenager.

The La Liga side are targeting a landmark summer transfer window. Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe has become their top target.

His wages are the only potential problem, as his PSG contract expires at the end of the season.

Bellingham’s team-mate Erling Haaland is another major target. The Norwegian is available for a release clause of around £63million.

However, Bild claims that after signing 19-year-old former Rennes star Eduardo Camavinga last summer, Madrid want to further bolster their midfield with Bellingham.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Casemiro remain Madrid’s senior midfield options. And while they continue to star in La Liga and the Champions League, they are all 30 or older.