Liverpool and Manchester United have had to admit defeat in their Jude Bellingham transfer pursuit after a report revealed a move to his next club will be made official next week.
Bellingham has gone from strength to strength at Borussia Dortmund and is already regarded as one of the world’s elite midfielders.
Liverpool had identified the teenager as their top summer transfer target but were forced to shelve their interest in him due to his hefty price tag.
While Manchester United hoped to win the race for his signature, Real Madrid have also tracked his progress are now close to finalising a transfer for the 19-year-old.
That is according to a report from Spanish outlet Marca, who claim that Madrid will tie up a deal for Bellingham as early as next week.
The report states that Madrid officials ‘reached an agreement in principle’ with the German side during a recent visit to Dortmund.
Madrid president Florentino Perez and club CEO Jose Angel Sanchez have since told manager Carlo Ancelotti that a deal for his top transfer target has been all but secured.
But negotiations have been put on hold until the end of the Bundesliga season as Madrid don’t want to disrupt Dortmund’s title challenge.
Dortmund are currently two points clear at the top and need to match Bayern Munich’s result on the final day of the 2022/23 campaign in order to get their hands on the Bundesliga title.
Bellingham is a doubt for their title decider against Mainz due to a knee injury but will be hoping to end his spell with the German side by winning silverware.
Once the league season is completed, Dortmund will bid farewell to the England international and finalise terms with Madrid.
Bellingham to sign a six-year Real Madrid deal
Madrid have agreed to give Dortmund €100million (£86.7m) as an initial payment while a number of add-ons and bonuses will also be included in the transfer package.
It is thought that personal terms have already been thrashed out between Madrid and Bellingham, and he won’t even be one of their top earners.
Marca claim that the midfielder had better financial offers on the table, but he expressed a real desire to play for Los Blancos.
Bellingham will reportedly sign a six-year contract with the La Liga giants, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2028/29 season.
Madrid’s midfield will be set for years to come as they already have three of the best young midfielders in world football in Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde.
In the short term, Toni Kroos has also extended his contract for another year and Ancelotti wants Luka Modric to stay for 12 more months.
Liverpool and Man Utd forced to look elsewhere
After missing out on Bellingham, Liverpool and United have had to look at other targets as they look to bolster their midfield options.
Liverpool are closing in on a deal to sign Alexis Mac Allister, who has enjoyed an excellent season at Brighton & Hove Albion.
The Argentina international is valued at around £69.4m and will reportedly sign a five-year deal at Anfield worth £150,000 a week.
Manchester United had also been linked with Mac Allister but they are now looking at two of Bellingham’s international team-mates.
Erik ten Hag’s side are reportedly preparing a £55m offer for Chelsea’s Mason Mount and are also prepared to rival Arsenal in the race for Declan Rice’s signature.