Five realistic alternatives to signing Jude Bellingham – Could Julian Ward make another signing from Portugal?

With a whole host of top clubs chasing Jude Bellingham next summer, it means there’s going to be a lot of disappointed suitors.

An all-out bidding war will commence for the services of the English wonderkid in what promises to be the transfer saga of next summer.

It will no doubt be an incredibly tough task to sign such a revered player and therefore alternative options will be key and will have to be explored.

We look at the top five midfield alternatives for Bellingham that Liverpool could sign instead of the 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

Nicolo Barella

The Inter Milan midfielder is highly rated in Europe and by Jurgen Klopp, who is reportedly an admirer of the Italian international.

Possessing an engine that is capable of playing at the intensity needed to be successful in this Liverpool team, he offers a real creative threat too as a box-to-box midfielder.

He laid on 12 open-play assists in Serie A last season as well as contributing three goals too.

Currently contracted until 2026, the Italian would be a slightly cheaper alternative around £70m, but worth the money given that he’s still only 25 years old. One to watch.

Ibrahim Sangare

One midfielder who has gone under the radar is Ibrahim Sangare, who’s starred for PSV in recent seasons.

He sits more as a defensive midfielder, rather than a box-to-box creator like Barella, but his ball carrying is underrated and he offers a real physical presence.

Reportedly available for £31million, this cost-effective solution would also give back-up for Fabinho, who is Liverpool’s only out-and-out defensive midfielder.

There has been interest in the Ivory Coast international from Manchester United, but as of yet no top club has taken a chance on the 24-year-old.

Amadou Haidara

Another low-cost option could be Amadou Haidara in central midfield, who plays for RB Leipzig.

Liverpool have a good relationship with the club, having signed Naby Keita from Salzburg and Ibrahim Konate from Leipzig in recent years.

Haidara’s £31m (€37m) release clause reportedly expired this summer, which could result in a potential move away from Germany.

At 24 years old, he has time on his side and could give that real depth in midfield.

Especially given the ages of Jordan Henderson (32) and James Milner (36).

Luka Sucic

If Liverpool wanted to build for the future, as they have done with the signing of Fabio Carvalho, then Red Bull Salzburg’s Luka Sucic could be an option.

Seen as a very talented prospect, the Croatian has been turning heads.

Standing tall at six foot one, physicality won’t be an issue for the Croatian, who has already been capped three times by his country.

He managed 11 goals and five assists last season across all competitions and stands out as a potential future star.

Pedro Goncalves

Liverpool have no problem shopping for players in Portugal, with Luis Diaz being an all-round top transfer so far since joining in January.

Another option from the Portuguese league is Sporting Lisbon’s Pedro Goncalves, a player linked with a move away season after season.

One thing he would provide would be output. He has played across the whole frontline and in central midfield – he has a terrific eye for creation and scoring – bagging 15 goals and 13 assists in all competitions from a variety of positions.

Julian Ward – Liverpool’s sporting director – has an eye for young talent from the Portuguese league and there’s no doubt Goncalves will be on Liverpool’s radar.

LATEST ARTICLES

“Not interested” James Pearce gives transfer update on £50m rated baller – wanted by 4 PL clubs

Liverpool's correspondent for The Athletic has given a transfer update on the highly coveted £50m rated midfielder wanted by four Premier League clubs. Sporting's Matheus...

Liverpool target told “he will have to leave” this summer – if the right fee comes in for the 19-year-old star

Liverpool target Yeremi Pino has been told by coach Unai Emery that he is free to leave Villarreal this summer if the right fee...

Former PL striker tips Harvey Elliot to succeed in Thiago’s absence – ‘creative’ Elliot needs to take his chance now

Liverpool's Harvey Elliot is set to get more game time in the absence of Thiago and the youngster is being urged to take his...

Sadio Mane was Liverpool’s ‘best player’ – PL striker claims the club ‘didn’t need to sell’

West Ham's Michail Antonio has described Sadio Mane as 'Liverpool's best player' and that he doesn't feel the club needed to sell him. Bayern Munich...

Injury to Liverpool centre-back opens the door for £85k-a-week forgotten man to start against Palace

Liverpool's injury situation has gotten worse after news broke of an injury suffered by Joel Matip in training ahead of Crystal Palace on Monday. The...