Daily Star reporter Ollie Salt wrote on Tuesday: “Anfield chiefs are preparing a club-record £80million bid for Bellingham next summer, which would make him the most expensive signing in Liverpool’s history.
“Jurgen Klopp believes the 18-year-old would be the perfect fit for his midfield on Merseyside, although Manchester United are likely to provide competition for his signature.”
Now, what was initially an unreliable rumour about an exciting player has now developed into a trustworthy story after the reliable Patrick Berger added his voice to the story albeit with a caveat.
He reported on Twitter: “Liverpool chasing Jude Bellingham. Reports from UK are correct as Klopp is monitoring the midfielder for a potential transfer next summer.
“But position is quite clear: The Bundesliga side don’t want to sell Jude. Contract until 2025 – no release clause.”
Dortmund are in a strong position as they aren’t forced to sell Bellingham as they will be next summer with Erling Haaland when the Norwegian’s £65m release clause comes into play.
The Germans will be able to haggle over every last penny, add-on and bonus as they did with Manchester United for Jadon Sancho but if Liverpool hope to sign him they should aim to do so before Michael Edwards leaves at the end of next summer.
The sporting director’s contract is in its final year but he could bow out with one final genius deal. Signing Bellingham will be like any other deal though as BVB specialise in extracting massive sums from the biggest clubs in Europe and have done so with Dembele to Barcelona, Sancho to United and they will do the same to Liverpool.
It’s no surprise that Jurgen Klopp is interested in Bellingham as the 18-year-old is an incredible player and operates with the maturity that belies his young age and he’d fit in at Anfield without any fuss.
His performances for Dortmund last season were superb and he was particularly impressive against Manchester City in the Champions League and with better luck and a slightly better referee, he’d have had a goal against the Premier League side and perhaps have progressed to the semi-finals of the tournament.
Liverpool are European royalty and so will be delighted if they can sign the young midfielder especially if he can go on and get some more experience in UEFA’s elite competition.
Following the first leg, in which Bellingham was denied a goal, Pep Guardiola was effusive in his praise for the then 17-year-old.
“I can’t believe it, maybe he’s a liar!” he exclaimed. “He’s so good for 17 years old, he’s a fantastic player. There was one moment when he didn’t get the ball from central defenders, how he shouts and demands that ball to him at 17 means a lot.”