Liverpool face the prospect of never being able to sign Jude Bellingham after their decision to pull out of the running for his signature over the summer.
The England midfielder has been in stunning form for Real Madrid at the start of the new campaign, having completed a move to The Bernabeu over the summer for a fee that is likely to end up costing the Spanish giants around £116million.
Bellingham has notched 10 goals and added three assists in all competitions for Real so far. In comparison, Kylian Mbappe has eight goals for PSG, Mo Salah six for Liverpool and Erling Haaland eight for Manchester City.
The 20-year-old has stunned many observers with just how quickly he has settled down in Spain and proved such an influential figure for Carlo Ancelotti already.
Bellingham has also been a key man for England in their Euro 2004 qualifying campaign, winning a penalty in the 3-1 win over Italy and also setting up Marcus Rashford’s strike as their Three Lions booked their place in Germany next summer.
And speaking to former Chelsea playmaker Joe Cole about his experience in LaLiga so far, Bellingham claims he could not be happier.
He told Channel 4: “I am loving football at the minute. My management at club and country are giving me freedom to play it how I see it.
“Since the last few months I have been really working on my timing getting into the box and as I am arriving I am arriving with a big hunger.
“With the big transfer the fact is I have to deliver, whether it is a goal or assist or a match-winning performance.”
Bellingham wants 10 to 15-year Real stay
Also, in a crushing blow to Liverpool and any other Premier League clubs hoping to sign the attacking midfielder one day, Bellingham revealed that he wants to remain Spain with Real for over a decade.
He added: “This is the club I want to be at for the next 10 to 15 years of my life. I am loving it there. Carlo [Ancelotti] basically said this position is where he sees me.”
The former Birmingham star currently earns around £350,000 per week in the Spanish capital, and those sort of figures posed a problem to Liverpool during their pursuit of the player.
The Reds pulled out of a potential signing that Bellingham’s father was pushing for due to the overall cost of the deal. They instead decided to spread their finances across several signings.
Liverpool did, however, score a major hit with the £60m addition of Dominik Szoboszlai, with the Hungarian playing a starring role so far in a strong start to the new season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
However, there will always be the feeling that Bellingham is the ‘one that got away’, especially if he carries on at this current stunning rate of progress.
The Reds are back in Premier League cation on Saturday when they host Everton in the first Merseyside derby of the season in a lunchtime kick-off.