Jude Bellingham: Liverpool ruled out of transfer race as Klopp told the ‘only place’ star will go

Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund celebrates during Bundesliga game against Werder Bremen

Rio Ferdinand believes Jude Bellingham may have been convinced to join Real Madrid ahead of Liverpool this summer after they defeated the Reds in the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp’s side were thrashed 6-2 across two legs by Los Blancos, showing the gulf in quality between the two European giants.

Indeed, the result showed how far Liverpool have fallen since last season and Ferdinand thanks it may prove to be the deciding factor as Bellingham weighs up his future.

The 19-year-old is one of the hottest properties in Europe at the moment after being a consistent top performer for Borussia Dortmund and England in recent seasons.

Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Real Madrid are thought to be the frontrunners in the race for the 19-year-old, with the German club reportedly demanding around €150m (£132m) for his services.

It’s no secret that Klopp wants to revamp his midfield ahead of next season, with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner all past their prime, so Bellingham would be a monumental signing if the Reds can get a deal over the line.

However, both Ferdinand and Michael Owen agree that their recent defeat to Madrid may have convinced the Englishman to head to LaLiga over the Premier League.

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Bellingham tipped to join Madrid over Liverpool

Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand said: “I just think, if he watches that tonight, he’s sitting there thinking: ‘If Real Madrid are in for me and Liverpool, there’s only one place I can go’ – and they [Liverpool] don’t finish in the Champions League as well maybe.

“As a player – nothing to do with my allegiances to United or Liverpool – you look at it cold and you go: ‘I see more trophies here [at Madrid.]'”

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen did not disagree with his fellow pundit – saying Klopp’s team are ‘in transition’, which could be off-putting for Bellingham.

“I don’t disagree with it. If you’re Jude Bellingham and you’ve got a pick of a host of clubs, and Liverpool are in transition at the moment, it might not be the right answer for him.

“You’re hanging your hat on maybe one or two additions to freshen it up.

“But the worry is, if Liverpool don’t get in the Champions League, then it’s not as an exciting proposition. They probably won’t have the money to go and do it.

“We all know Liverpool isn’t awash with money, so I know there’s a kitty there, probably, to go for a Bellingham for £100million, maybe a little bit more.

“But if they don’t get in the Champions League, that’s going to put a little bit more pressure on the purse strings.”

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