Premier League • England

Liverpool transfer strategy prompts Asensio call, with new approach to spark Bellingham frenzy

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham

Liverpool have reached a decision on Marco Asensio amid speculation in Spain, and their new transfer strategy has big implications for Jude Bellingham, per a report.

The Reds’ transfer strategy has been crystal clear for all to see this summer. Darwin Nunez is the headline arrival, with the Uruguayan hitman potentially costing a new club-record £85m pending add-ons.

Fabio Carvalho joined from Fulham in a deal that had its roots in the winter window. Calvin Ramsay was signed from Aberdeen and will provide long-term cover for Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Nunez is 23, while Carvalho and Ramsay are both still teenagers. Clearly, the Liverpool hierarchy believed it was time to freshen up the ranks with an injection of youth.

Indeed, the Liverpool Echo state the club’s policy for the foreseeable future is one of ‘retain and refresh’.

Many of their established stars have penned new contracts over the last 12 months. Mohamed Salah and Joe Gomez were the latest, and Naby Keita could soon follow.

However, veteran players like Sadio Mane, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi have all departed. The average age of Liverpool’s squad was creeping up – something they were keen to redress.

Asensio, Bellingham moves assessed

As such, the report states Liverpool will not be making a move for Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio.

The 26-year-old has been strongly linked with the Reds after entering the final 12 months of his deal. Reports in Spain even insisted he’d be willing to lower his salary demands if a club the calibre of Liverpool came calling.

As little as £25m could’ve reportedly forged a deal. However, the Echo – citing sources inside Liverpool – state an Asensio move is a non-starter.

Indeed, the article claims Liverpool are now reluctant to sanction big sums for players already beyond their early 20s.

What’s more, the club’s business from an arrivals perspective is reportedly concluded until 2023. At that point, a move for Jude Bellingham is expected to ramp up.

Jude Bellingham, England v Hungary June 2022

Jurgen Klopp is a known admirer of the England ace. Dortmund recently slapped a £103m price tag on the midfielder – a sum that would set a new British transfer record.

Yet Liverpool’s new strategy meshes well with a player of Bellingham’s age and profile. As such, the report states the Reds hierarchy won’t be put off by the nine-figure sum.

A new midfielder is claimed to be their next priority in 2023. Bellingham looks increasingly likely to be pursued by Liverpool and keeping their powder dry now will strengthen their hand when battling for the 19-year-old’s signature next summer.

Is he worth the wait?

Despite only turning 19 last week, Bellingham already has over 100 senior league appearances to his name.

What’s more, he is a veteran of multiple Champions League campaigns and is pushing Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice hard to start in England’s midfield at the World Cup.

There are remarkably few weaknesses in Bellingham’s game despite being so young. A £103m fee will raise eyebrows, though Bellingham offers as big of a guarantee of success as almost any other player at that age.

Competition will no doubt be fierce, though Liverpool’s owners have shown they’re willing to go big for the right man.

There is little we’ve seen so far to suggest £103m wouldn’t be money well spent for Jude Bellingham. A signing on that scale would send Liverpool fans into a frenzy.