Liverpool in dreamland after German journalist leaks Jude Bellingham plan after major Chelsea misstep

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham

Two English sides have been discounted from the race to sign Jude Bellingham, while a German journalist has reiterated Liverpool is his preferred destination, though there is one almighty catch.

The future of Jude Bellingham is shaping up to be the transfer saga of the summer. Despite being just 19, Bellingham is already a world class operator and of all his many suitors, Liverpool’s need is arguably the greatest.

The Reds’ midfield has been the focal point for their numerous problems this season. Furthermore, the likes of James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are all out of contract at season’s end.

Virtually all of England’s elite clubs have registered interest in Bellingham in one form or another. From further afield, the greatest competition will come from Real Madrid.

However, the Athletic recently reported Real are growing increasingly resigned to the fact Bellingham will wind up back in England. That won’t be through a lack of trying, more an inability to compete financially with the Premier League’s big hitters.

Now, BILD journalist Christian Falk has shed new light on where Bellingham might end up, and it makes great reading for Liverpool fans.

Bellingham bemused by Chelsea, dismisses Newcastle

Firstly, Falk revealed Bellingham has taken a dim view of free-spending Chelsea, believing Todd Boehly’s side to lack direction and a clear plan.

Falk claimed Bellingham already held that view prior to their January splurge of around £290m. The huge outlay has only reinforced Bellingham’s belief.

Elsewhere, Falk added that while Newcastle are clearly on the rise, they are not “in the range of clubs Bellingham’s seriously considering joining in the summer.”

Man City would be, though they have bigger issues to deal with at present given the Premier League charged them with 115 Financial Fair Play breaches.

The Times insisted City fully intend to embark on a blockbuster summer spend anyway. Aside from Bellingham, Ben Chilwell, Declan Rice and AC Milan’s Rafael Leao are wanted. However, Falk gave City no mention whatsoever on his column.

Instead, he named Liverpool as the club Bellingham is keeping his eye on, though there is a catch.

No Champions League could delay Liverpool transfer

The midfielder would greatly prefer to join the Reds at a time when they’re in the Champions League. Given their current struggles, it’s looking like they’ll be a notable absentee from Europe’s top competition next year.

If that scenario unfolds, Falk concluded Bellingham may opt to remain in Dortmund for an extra season before joining Liverpool in 2024 and not 2023.

Via his Caught Offside column, Falk wrote: “He [Bellingham] seems very clear in his plans. I heard that, before Enzo Fernandez’s move to London, Bellingham was looking at what was going on at Chelsea.

“Chelsea were interested but Bellingham saw there wasn’t a clear plan at the club, so there wasn’t a massive amount of interest in going there.”

Falk continued: “The Premier League remains the first target for Jude Bellingham. I’ve always said Liverpool would be his preferred target but, of course, everyone knows that they’re not doing too well at the moment.

“It’s also a hope for Dortmund still that, if Liverpool aren’t playing in Europe, there’s the possibility of extending Bellingham’s stay by a year.

“Dortmund has a good chance of winning the Bundesliga, it’s very close. So there could be a chance that Bellingham waits for Liverpool.

“If he’s going to leave Dortmund, it will be for a top club, so he’s still keeping an eye on circumstances at Liverpool.”

While Liverpool’s current struggles may wind up delaying the transfer, it is at least good news from a Reds perspective to learn of Bellingham’s favouritism towards them.

If Bellingham does move on this summer, the Athletic claimed Dortmund are unlikely to sell for under £110m. A figure of that size would break Enzo Fernandez’s £106.8m British transfer record set just last month.

READ MORE: How the transfer net spend at Liverpool compares with their Premier League rivals in the last five years