Jude Bellingham poured cold water on new speculation linking him with a blockbuster move to England, and gave the Dortmund view on how to stop Erling Haaland.
The 19-year-old appears to have the footballing world at his feet. He is already a regular in Gareth Southgate’s England side and is certain to be on the plane to Qatar.
He’s approaching the 150 mark for senior club appearances through his time at Birmingham City and Borussia Dortmund. Possessing an all-around game with negligible weaknesses, it’s come as no surprise to see him regularly linked with blockbuster moves.
Transfer guru Fabrizio Romano recently detailed the interest of Liverpool, Man Utd and Man City.
He claimed Liverpool “for sure” will push to sign Bellingham next summer. Jurgen Klopp has repeatedly stated Liverpool will only spend big on the right man in the market and a player of Bellingham’s calibre clearly fits that bill.
From further afield, Real Madrid will be in the mix despite landing Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni in recent windows.
With Casemiro sold to Man Utd and Toni Kroos and Luka Modric well into their 30s, Real’s midfield is in the early stages of an overhaul.
The English suitors in particular will have a chance to view Bellingham up close and personal this week. Dortmund travel to Manchester to take on City in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
In the build-up to that mouth-watering clash, Bellingham was asked if he views the contest as an opportunity to put himself in the show window.
Bellingham has previously displayed maturity beyond his years during interviews and took the question as a chance to reaffirm his loyalty to Dortmund with an emphatic response.
“Disrespectful” to look beyond Dortmund – Bellingham
“First of all, I’m here to help Borussia Dortmund win the game,” said the in-demand midfielder (via the Liverpool Echo).
“If I can play well and showcase my talents, it is a bonus. But I’m here to win for Borussia Dortmund and I’m very happy here at the minute and I’m focused on all of the goals we have as a team and I’m not looking past that.
“The club have done loads for me and made me feel very welcome since I first came and gave me the opportunities to develop even further. To look past that and into the future would be disrespectful.
“It’s not something I am thinking about, to be honest,” he added when probed about whether returning to England is a long-term ambition.
“It’s a massive game against Man City. To even be thinking about something like that would be crazy.”
While Bellingham is in no mood to take his attention off Dortmund, the speculation over a 2023 transfer will only ramp up with time.
Romano suggested the bidding will start at at least €100m (approx. £87m) when the time comes.
How would Bellingham stop Haaland?
Bellingham will square off against former teammate Erling Haaland at the Etihad on Wednesday.
The Norwegian has been irresistible since arriving, notching an incredible 10 goals in his first six league appearances.
However, if any club knows how to stop Haaland, it should be Dortmund. Yet when quizzed on the bruising centre-forward, even Bellingham suggested he’s at a loss on how to approach the task.
“I’m not really sure how you stop him to be honest,” said Bellingham. “We’ll have to find out tomorrow.
“He is a player with lot of quality and a lot of physical attributes that make him so dangerous.
“It’s not an individual task. It is something the team has to do collectively. If we stick together and try to do the right things it can be possible.”