Liverpool have received their second and third boosts inside a week regarding their Jude Bellingham pursuit, with reports explaining why Real Madrid aren’t the threat they were believed to be.
The future of Jude Bellingham promises to be the most compelling transfer saga of 2023. Despite being just 19, Bellingham is already one of the world’s finest central midfielders and counts Europe’s elite among his many suitors.
Indeed, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs are known to be exploring moves.
Borussia Dortmund retain hope of convincing Bellingham to remain in Germany beyond the current campaign. His current contract doesn’t expire until 2025, though club CEO, Hans-Joachim Watzke, has already admitted they’ll be powerless to resist the financial might of Europe’s heavy hitters.
Dortmund have reportedly slapped a whopping €150m (approx. £130m) price tag on Bellingham.
Various outlets and journalists have claimed a deal could be made for below that lofty figure, especially if the buying club pay up front and in full. However, with so many cash-rich suitors in the mix, a deal on the cheap is highly unlikely.
Liverpool’s need is arguably the greatest given their well-documented midfield woes. Owners FSG – despite putting the club up for sale – are reportedly prepared to splash the cash, even if they never reap the rewards of such an eye-catching signing.
Jurgen Klopp is a known admirer of Bellingham and he received a boost last week when the Daily Express reported Chelsea are no longer a contender.
The newspaper reported Bellingham has told the Blues ‘he has no interest’ in moving to Stamford Bridge.
Now, Liverpool have received a second and third boost by way of Real Madrid.
Real Madrid price out of Jude Bellingham race?
Spanish outlet Sport report Los Blancos are in fact Bellingham’s preferred destination. However, it’s stated Real have no intention of bidding anything close to Dortmund’s £130m valuation.
They would be in the mix at a lower sum, though it appears Liverpool may be able to sink Real if they’re willing to dig deep into their pockets.
Furthermore, a more than viable back-up plan is rounding into shape in the form of Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala.
The 19-year-old has been talked up by fellow countryman Antonio Rudiger as a future Real Madrid player.
Musiala plays in a slightly more advanced role, though it stands to reason it’d be one or the other for Real Madrid given the fees involved.
“He is an outstanding footballer and a very, very good guy,” Real’s Rudiger said of Musiala (via the Express).
“He has his feet on the ground despite all the noise around him and he has everything to hopefully play here (at Real Madrid) someday.”
Brexit adds another wrinkle
In a post-Brexit world, Musiala would also represent a more appealing signing to Real given he’d count on their EU quota.
The Express state Carlo Ancelotti’s side have currently filled their quota for non-EU players, meaning they’d need a requisite exit to free up space just to sign Bellingham anyway.
Sport conclude that of all Bellingham’s English suitors, it is Liverpool who lead the way.
If Real really are out of the running if the price tag soars, all the signs point towards Bellingham moving to Anfield next summer.