Jude Bellingham is being strongly advised to snub Liverpool this summer, with a move to Anfield branded a mistake by Rio Ferdinand, who has also named the club he expects the England star to sign for.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has emerged as one of the world’s most in-demand stars. Since arriving at the Westfalenstadion in summer 2020, his game has come on leaps and bounds.
And at still only 19 years of age, Bellingham has the world at his feet.
Indeed, he is now not just a regular in the heart of the England midfield, but he also wears the captain’s armband for BVB. And having scored 10 goals and added 15 assists this season from 28 appearances, it’s easy to see why he’s in such high demand.
To that end, a clutch of the world’s top clubs are all chasing the player, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all among his suitors.
And while any fee for his signing is likely to shatter the British transfer record, the Premier League quartet are all eager to push for his signing.
That chase is seemingly led by Liverpool with Jurgen Klopp a very notable admirer. And it seems their chase has taken another step forward this week with TEAMtalk learning that Bellingham is willing to sign as long as one major condition is met.
However, Ferdinand reckons signing for Liverpool this summer would represent a major risk for Bellingham.
Rio Ferdinand names club he expects Jude Bellingham to sign for
The Reds are currently enduring their worst season in several years sitting eighth in the table. As a result, they are serious danger of missing out on a top-four place.
They have already surrendered their grip on the FA Cup and Carabao Cups they won last season. And barring a miracle comeback, they also face elimination in the Champions League after a 5-2 home defeat by Real Madrid this week.
As such, Ferdinand is advising Bellingham to steer clear of a move to Liverpool.
And if you think Ferdinand has ulterior motives and is instead urging the teenager to sign for Manchester United, you may need to think again.
Instead, Ferdinand reckons Bellingham would be wise to instead move to Real Madrid. And he thinks the reigning Champions League holders present the best chance for the star to win the game’s biggest trophies.
“I think Jude Bellingham’s intelligent enough not to look at one game in isolation. He will certainly be looking at the bigger picture. What do the next 12 months look like at Liverpool? What kind of impact can I have at Liverpool?” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“I think if we said a year ago, or six months ago, I don’t think Jude Bellingham even questions Liverpool’s trajectory or where they’re going, because they were in a different place.
“At the moment, I don’t think Liverpool are going to be on his radar. I know that will be very disappointing for Liverpool fans. I think the clubs in transition at the moment, the clubs in the process of being sold or [are] up for sale, or whatever that looks like.”
Borussia Dortmund finally name Bellingham price
Ferdinand continued: “The more important thing is that the team doesn’t seem to be functioning in the right way. There is a transition in terms of players in the team. There’s some old players there that are going to need to be shifted and moved on. Then there’s some young players brought in.
“Does he come into that? Or does he go into a team that looks like they’re going to win right now? Real Madrid have to be top of the list at the moment.”
Any move for Bellingham is likely to set his suitors back an enormous fee. To that end, previous reports had suggested Dortmund would be seeking a fee of at least £88.6m (€100m).
But Enzo Fernandez’s £105.7m move to Chelsea in January appears to have changed the boundaries for top young midfield stars. And with many seeing Bellingham as the better player, the Bundesliga side have now reportedly increased their price.
Per The Athletic, BVB are now asking his suitors to fork out an eye watering £132m (€150m) if they want to sign the star.
His deal is not due to expire until summer 2025. As a result, Dortmund reportedly feel they are within their rights to set such a lofty fee.
And if they were to sell, his previous club Birmingham City will be due 5% of the fee. That will potentially net the cash-strapped Championship side another big-money windfall.