Manchester United have been warned they will struggle to compete if they don’t sign Jude Bellingham, who Liverpool are in the ‘in the hot-seat to buy’.
Ralf Rangnick reportedly identified United’s midfield as the area most in need of urgent attention. The German picked out Kalvin Phillips, Amadou Haidara and Jude Bellingham when telling Red Devils’ bosses who to begin scouting.
At just 18, Bellingham is already one of European football’s hottest properties. Borussia Dortmund previously indicated a any offers for the Englishman would need to contain nine figures.
Nevertheless, Liverpool have drawn persistent links with the England superstar. The Reds have kept their powder relatively dry in recent windows. That could be with a view to splashing the cash in style in 2022 and beyond.
Liverpool’s midfield are everything Jurgen Klopp could wish for and more. However, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner and Jordan Henderson are all the wrong side of 30.
Bellingham would be a dream signing for the Reds, and the Daily Mail write Klopp’s side are ‘in the hot-seat’ for his signature.
However, former Liverpool winger, Steve McManaman, has sounded a warning to United if their rivals do complete a blockbuster move.
McManaman claimed United “need” a player of Bellingham’s calibre to raise the level of their midfield. In doing so, he also picked out three Red Devils stars who could soon be on the way.
Man Utd need a Bellingham type
“He (Bellingham) has got all the attributes to be a superstar,” said McManaman (via the Daily Mail).
“When you look through the teams and the sides that could buy him – Manchester United would need that type of player as a central midfielder. Manchester City, with Rodri, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, not so much.
“Liverpool have got Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Fabinho. Of course it would be a great signing, he’s a great player, but whether Liverpool need him now is another thing.
“Henderson is moving towards the end of his career. James Milner also. So Liverpool could always take another centre midfielder but it’s very congested in there.
“Georginio Wijnaldum left the club in the summer and people said they needed to replace him but they didn’t. But whether people move on and Jürgen brings Jude in is another thing.
Jurgen Klopp's Jude Bellingham plan
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has reported hopes that rival clubs will be distracted by Erling Haaland’s summer availability, leaving the reds free to pursue a £90m move for his teammate Jude Bellingham.
“[Man] City could accommodate him but they’ve got a plethora of great players in there and he mightn’t play.
“I think United need a centre midfielder of that (Bellingham’s) ilk. Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are coming to the end of their careers and Paul Pogba may leave.
“So if there’s one team that needs a player like Jude Bellingham, it’s Manchester United.”
Dubious valuation leaves Man Utd empty-handed
Meanwhile, Manchester United are yet to receive a serious approach from any clubs over signing wantaway Anthony Martial after setting an unlikely asking price for the striker.
The France striker’s agent went public last week stating his client’s desire to leave in January in search of regular first-team football. However, ESPN claims that no club has yet made an enquiry to United about Martial’s services.
A major concern for United in their bid to offload the player is the fact that he remains under contract until 2024, while his high salary also creates an issue.
The report adds that while United are ready to negotiate a sale, it will only be on their terms. There is also the possibility of a loan, but the Red Devils are also not prepared to subsidise part of Martial’s salary.
The Mirror also states that United have placed a price tag at £30m on the forward. That is £6m less than the initial £36m they initially coughed-up to Monaco back in 2016 for the Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle target.
But if no clubs show a significant interest then Martial faces being frozen out by interim boss Ralf Rangnick.