Liverpool respond swiftly to Man City rumours in bid to win race for ‘scary’ £101m midfielder

Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola Man City v Liverpool January 2019

Liverpool are reportedly stepping up their bid to sign Jude Bellingham after rumours that Premier League title rivals Manchester City have done likewise.

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola are both known to be huge admirers of the Borussia Dortmund and England youngster, who continues to earn plaudits from across Europe for performances well beyond his tender age.

The 18-year-old has been involved in 27 goals for Dortmund in 85 appearances since signing from Birmingham for £22.5million in 2020.

That has led to plenty of interest from England and Spain for Bellingham. Indeed, LaLiga giants Real Madrid also plotting a move for the youngster.

But it’s City’s sudden upturn in interest that is sparking Liverpool to respond.

A report on Saturday revealed that Guardiola is keen on pairing Bellingham with Phil Foden and Jack Grealish at The Etihad, although strangely not Raheem Sterling who could, seemingly, be on his way.

Quite where Bellingham fits into a packed City midfield remains to be seen. Fernandinho is comfortably the oldest player in City’s engine room, but Bellingham does not play the holding role and is better used as an attacking threat.

As for the Reds, there is a school of thought that Bellingham would take on the Thiago role at Anfield.

Bellingham worth £150m as Liverpool interested

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

Thiago is now 30 and still one of the better passers in European football. However, Bellingham would give Klopp a more dynamic presence in midfield and has more goals in him.

Bellingham a ‘scary’ prospect

Indeed, one pundit who is a big fan of the player is Premier League legend Roy Keane. Having previously described the Dortmund starlet’s talent as ‘scary’, he continued his praise after England recently thumped Ivory Coast in a Wembley friendly.

The former Manchester United star said of Bellingham: “He’s so mature, he’s got everything in his locker. Can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s an amazing talent. He’s going to be a mainstay for England for the next 10-15 years.”

However, the one stumbling block to overcome for any suitors will be Dortmund’s asking price.

A figure of £125m has been mooted but more realistic reports of a figure around £101m seem more likely.

But for Dortmund, the question remains whether they are willing to offload both Bellingham and Erling Haaland this summer. Selling one and then reinvesting in their squad appears the more logical option. But if two huge offers come in it will be a tough decision not to buckle.

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