An attacker Arsenal have asked for information about could be included as a makeweight in a Jude Bellingham deal that would see Man City join Liverpool in missing out, per reports.
Liverpool pulled the plug on signing Jude Bellingham when it became apparent the skyrocketing cost would prevent them from performing surgery on other parts of their squad.
Bellingham is valued by Borussia Dortmund in the £120m-£135m range. With add-ons, agents’ fee and a colossal salary on top, the Reds saw no reason to continue chasing a lost cause.
With Liverpool out of the race, Man City and Real Madrid’s chances of securing the coup have soared. Those two sides are widely believed to be Bellingham’s only realistic destinations if he does leave Germany this summer.
Now, according to Spanish outlet Cadena SER (via Goal), Real Madrid are prepared to include an Arsenal target as a makeweight to help fend off Man City.
The player in question is Brahim Diaz who is currently on loan at AC Milan. The Spanish attacker’s loan will expire this summer and per Corriere dello Sport, Real have two options.
The first is to finally integrate Diaz into their first-team next season. The 23-year-old has spent the last three seasons on loan at AC Milan.
The second option is to sanction a sale, with Real seemingly believing the time for more loan spells is over.
With that in mind, Corriere reported Arsenal had contacted Real Madrid to gather information on whether a summer swoop is possible. If given the greenlight, a bid of around €25million (£22.1m) is reportedly required to sign versatile forward.
However, according to a fresh update from Cadena SER, Brahim Diaz could instead be the ‘key’ to unlocking a deal for Bellingham.
Real are said to be unwilling to bid higher than €120m (approx. £106m) for the England ace. To make up the shortfall, they’re mulling including Diaz as a sweetener to help reduce the overall cost.
Whether Dortmund would be willing to explore a cash-plus-player deal for their star man isn’t yet clear. Another potential wrinkle comes in the form of AC Milan holding an option to buy in Diaz’s loan deal.
Clearly, a Diaz-plus-cash offer for Bellingham still has several creases to iron out first.
However, if Dortmund are receptive to the idea of landing a proven forward in the process of selling Bellingham, Real may have found a way to sink Man City in the market.