Liverpool have nothing to fear in terms of a rival attempt by Manchester United for one of their top targets, Jurgen Klopp has been encouraged.
After an inconsistent first part of the Premier League season, Liverpool are looking at ways they can consolidate in 2023. The January transfer window could give them an opportunity to improve their squad, although they may realistically have to wait until the summer for the targets they really want.
By the end of the season, Liverpool should be ready to invest in their midfield, which is a position that could be deprived of a few options. Not only will Arthur Melo’s loan spell have ended, but the likes of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will all be out of contract.
Therefore, Liverpool are expected to go into the market to strengthen their midfield. In doing so, they will be aiming high.
They already appear to have missed out on a deal for RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer, who is heading to Bayern Munich instead. But the answer might come from elsewhere in the Bundesliga.
Of course, one player to have been heavily linked with Liverpool is Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham. The 19-year-old has been starring at his first World Cup with England, only adding to his existing good reputation.
Bellingham, a former Birmingham City product, has been tipped to get his chance back in England at club level as a result of his growth in recent years. In that regard, Liverpool look like the most suitable takers.
They will be facing competition – namely from Manchester City and Real Madrid – while Jamie Carragher has predicted that their owners will be “anxious” about how well Bellingham is doing in Qatar.
Plettenberg provides Jude Bellingham latest
Indeed, Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg has now verified that Borussia Dortmund believe Bellingham is becoming “even more valuable” thanks to what he is doing in the Middle East.
Claiming it could take between £86million and £129million to lure Bellingham away from the Bundesliga, Plettenberg has revealed how much Liverpool manager Klopp is “pushing” to win the race.
Fortunately for his part, one potential obstacle has been ruled out, with Plettenberg denying Man Utd can compete for Bellingham’s signature at this point.
The respected reporter told Sky Sports: “Borussia Dortmund are very happy with Jude Bellingham’s World Cup performance so far because he’s becoming even more valuable from the financial point of view.
“Bellingham, he’s under contract until 2025 and he has no release clause like Erling Haaland did. Although, they are already planning with his exit in summer 2023.
“Dortmund would be fine with him leaving because they are confident in getting a transfer fee between €100million and €150million.
“According to our sources, Liverpool, City and Real Madrid, they are his main options right now, with Jurgen Klopp pushing, pushing, pushing for his move to the Reds.
“From all we are hearing, Bellingham is his number one transfer target next summer.
“Man Utd, on the other hand, they seem to be out of the race and don’t stand a chance at this point.”
Man Utd were previously keen on Bellingham when he was choosing his next step after Birmingham. However, their efforts did not pay off and he headed for Dortmund instead.
His decision seems justified with the way he has risen since. Bellingham is now a player of Champions League pedigree with experience in the international arena.
And he is already applying himself well at the highest level, which should keep his options attractive for the future.
Liverpool might be able to outbid Real Madrid
In a further promising update for Liverpool, Defensa Central is reporting that Real Madrid will not go above €125million (£107.6million) in any bid to take Bellingham to Spain.
Liverpool would still have to break their own transfer record to usurp that valuation. However, if one of the richest clubs in the world have a limit, Liverpool at least know the parameters of what they themselves can do to win the race for Bellingham.
And Real Madrid are looking at alternatives, Defensa Central claims, in case Bellingham is out of reach for them. Still, they hope they can convince him with their sporting project, so they are a foe not to be taken lightly in the transfer battle.
Perhaps Liverpool’s biggest concern, though, would be losing out on Bellingham to the rival with which they have been competing for Premier League honours in recent years, Manchester City.
The reigning champions signed Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund in the summer in an effort to pull away from the competition. Several years earlier, they also raided the same club for Ilkay Gundogan, who is now approaching the end of his contract.
Perhaps they could revisit the same market to replenish their own midfield with Bellingham.
It would be a bitter blow for Liverpool, so no wonder ex-Dortmund boss Klopp is making such a big effort to bring Bellingham to Anfield.