Liverpool transfer news: Ambitious midfield signing torpedoed by new deal, but Fabrizio Romano delivers the goods on Jude Bellingham

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham

An ambitious potential move to bring Gavi to Liverpool will go no further, though Fabrizio Romano has has provided a comprehensive and telling update on their pursuit of Jude Bellingham – including how much he’ll cost and who’ll provide the competition.

Liverpool fans were in unison over the summer calling for their club to sign at least one top class midfielder. The message from the Reds remained the same for much of the window: Liverpool would only act if the right man became available.

Ultimately, a mounting injury crisis forced their hand with Arthur Melo drafted in on loan. However, despite a reported £32m buy option, the common consensus is the Brazilian is a short-term fix.

Instead, moves for rising superstars Gavi and Jude Bellingham have been touted.

In Gavi’s case, the links centred around the fact the classy midfielder had entered the final year of his contract at Barcelona.

He holds a £42m release clause within his deal. What’s more, he would be free to forge a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs come January 1.

However, reports from Spain suggested an extension at the Camp Nou always seemed likely. Indeed, it was even speculated he could put pen to paper before the domestic scene gives way to the international break after next weekend.

Now, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has dashed any faint hope of Gavi lining up at Anfield.

Gavi agrees Barcelona extension

He tweeted, the 18-year-old has reached a ‘full agreement’ to extend his stay in Barcelona until 2026.

Gavi will net a salary increase in the process and Barcelona will also raise his €50m release clause to €1billion.

That figure sounds extreme, though Barca have already inserted clauses of that size in many of their younger stars’ contracts, such as Ansu Fati and Pedri.

With Gavi going nowhere, the attention will once again fix squarely on Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.

The Daily Mail previously reported they ‘expect’ Liverpool to sign the 19-year-old next summer. However, according to Romano, if Liverpool do land their man, it won’t be a simple process.

The trusted journalist confirmed Liverpool will try to sign Bellingham “for sure”. However, he also tipped Man City and Man Utd to make life difficult for the Reds.

Real Madrid will also be in the mix, while Romano revealed the size of fee Bellingham will command.

Why did no one move for Bellingham?

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano said: “For both Liverpool and Real Madrid it was impossible to sign Jude Bellingham this summer because, [at the] end of May, the directors at Borussia Dortmund were very clear with Liverpool and other clubs who approached for Bellingham.

“[They said:] ‘No way, there is going to be no negotiation for Jude Bellingham.’

“It’s not about the price, it’s not about the fee, it’s about the decision. Borussia Dortmund decided not to sell Jude Bellingham this summer. They were really clear in their position.

“They will try to dream about keeping Bellingham in summer of 2023, but they know it’s not going to be easy because next summer for Bellingham, there is going to be a crazy, crazy race.

“My sources told me, ‘Get ready,’ because we had the Haaland race, with Bayern, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man City, many clubs involved, but this Bellingham race will be many top clubs ready to do something crazy for Jude Bellingham.

“Many different sources told me this; to get ready for a new Haaland race.”

Liverpool will act; Man Utd, Man City involved

Zeroing in on which “top clubs” he was referencing, Romano continued: “Liverpool signed Arthur Melo on loan, but they need a new top midfielder next summer and Bellingham can be the player, so Liverpool will try for sure.

“Real Madrid are looking for midfielders as always. They have [Eduardo] Camavinga and [Aurelien] Tchouameni, two fantastic players. But they are following Bellingham since long time, so let’s see…

“In England, all the top clubs, not just Liverpool, are tracking Bellingham. Man City, for sure, but also Man United have been following Bellingham for a long time, so many clubs will be in the race.

“The feeling at Borussia Dortmund is that the player is really, really happy there. He is not creating any problems, he is a top professional.

“The decision on his future will be made in 2023, not now. But for sure, they expect many top clubs to jump into it.

“For example, this summer Chelsea didn’t move on Bellingham because they had other kinds of targets.

“But who knows next summer if Chelsea will decide to jump into it or not? Now with  [Graham] Potter, new manager, new direct relationship with Todd Boehly. Things can change.”

The common consensus has been Bellingham could cost his next club a nine-figure sum.

On that subject, Romano concluded: “The price will be way more than €100million, this is the feeling. And so, crazy one guys, because the race is going to be really, really interesting for Jude Bellingham.”