Premier League • England

Jude Bellingham: Liverpool hopes grow as Premier League rivals are crossed off list with transfer battle down to four sides

Jude Bellingham, Borussia Dortmund, in Champions League action

The race to sign Jude Bellingham has taken a dramatic turn with one of the Borussia Dortmund star’s major suitors now crossed off his list of potential destinations, TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal.

The teenager is emerging as one of European football’s most in-demand stars. His performances for Dortmund have reached a new zenith after being pushed into a more advanced midfield position. Indeed, the 19-year-old has nine goals and two assists from 19 appearances in all competitions this season.

The former Birmingham star has also worn the Dortmund armband on occasions this season, underlining his incredible rise.

As such, demand to sign the 17-times capped England star has never been higher.

Dortmund, for their part, will not let him leave on the cheap. Indeed, with a nunber of leading suitors in the mix to sign him, Bellingham will likely fetch up to £130m (€150m).

Among his leading suitors are Liverpool, such is Jurgen Klopp’s side’s need for fresh midfield investment. Given the price, it was previousy feared they may be cast aside, making way to some of their rivals with deeper pockets.

However, a report last week claimed Liverpool were ready to go all out in a push to sign the teenager. Furthermore, a report last week claimed the Reds were ‘advancing’ in their push to sign him.

Klopp’s team, though, remain far from his sole suitors. Indeed, Manchester United have a long-standing interest in the player too. To that end, a report last week said Erik ten Hag is now prioritising Bellingham above all other midfield signings.

Chelsea too are also keen. Ambitious new co-owner Todd Boehly reportedly held talks last month with Bellingham’s father and agent over a prospective move to Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea ruled out of Jude Bellingham transfer race

And Manchester City cannot be discounted either. Pep Guardiola is a confirmed admirer, while his close friend Erling Haaland also made the move to the Etihad over the summer.

However, TEAMtalk can reveal that Chelsea are set to miss out top target Bellingham with a move to Stamford Bridge not amongst the midfielder’s priorities.

The England star was lukewarm on the prospect of moving to London anyway. But his father and agent gave Boehly the courtesy of hearing what he had to say. Indeed, Boehly is ready to spend big to try and blow their rivals out of the water for the 19-year-old.

However, we understand that Bellingham is not overly keen on a move to Chelsea and favours a move elsewhere if he is to leave Dortmund in the near future.

The news will come as a major blow to Boehly who has put in extensive work to try and put Chelsea in the box seat to land Bellingham ahead of their rivals.

As a result, the race to sign the midfielder in 2023 is now done to four clubs. And as well as Liverpool, City and United, Real Madrid also remain the race.

Auction may price out Real Madrid

Los Blancos do reportedly have some reservations over the price, however. And they know they could likely lose should it come down to an auction for the player’s services.

As it stands, Liverpool are likely to be right at the front of the queue for the midfielder.

Klopp has some very definite opportunities in his Liverpool side opening up. Indeed, Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are all likely to depart in 2023. Furthermore, both Thiago and Jordan Henderson are the wrong side of 30. Both players have succumbed to injuries at one stage already this season. As a result, it is easy to see why Liverpool are so keen to land Bellingham.

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