On Tuesday night Liverpool supporters had their hearts shattered as it was reported that they had pulled out of the race for Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham.
The England international is one of the most sought after players in the world and it is expected his departure from the Black and Yellows will cost clubs at least £130 million. Liverpool were always going to be up against it in trying to sign the 19-year-old because not only would they have to contend with the financial might of rivals Manchester City and Real Madrid, they also desperately need a big rebuild at Anfield. The report also stated that the club were not willing to sanction such figures on one player and that it would be needed for around three or four new players.
This has certainly provided a huge twist in the race for Bellingham’s signature. Here are the different scenarios that could play out in the summer to determine where the young superstar will be plying his trade in the 2023-24 season.
Stay at Borussia Dortmund
Many people can’t seem to comprehend the idea but there is still a chance that Bellingham could stay for another year at Dortmund. It would make perfect sense too. He’s settled at the club, has built up a huge rapport with the fan base and is one of the most important players in the team. He’s even their top scorer this year.
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Dortmund has provided the Englishman with the perfect environment to hone his skills and establish himself as one of the best young players on the planet. He has already captained the side on a few occasions this year and has been integral to Dortmund’s title charge in the Bundesliga. Bellingham has a good thing going in North Rhine-Westphalia and he may feel that his chapter here is not yet coming to a close.
Various reports over the past couple of seasons have stated that Bellingham is a big admirer of Jurgen Klopp and the way Liverpool play. Perhaps if he knows a move to Merseyside isn’t possible this summer, he could wait a year to see if a deal can be brokered the following year. The only problem is that in another year that passes, Bellingham’s price tag is only going to increase further.
If there is one club in England that has the finances to put together a huge bid for Bellingham, it’s Manchester City. Pep Guardiola has been an admirer of the midfielder ever since Bellingham shone for Dortmund against City in the Champions League quarter-finals back in 2020-21.
He is the type of player that would fit seamlessly into Guardiola’s system and the Spanish coach will be more than aware that, in Bellingham, you are going to have a world-class player in your team for years to come. There have been reports over the past year that Bellingham is ready to return to England after leaving Birmingham City three summers ago so that he can spend more time with his family.
Right now, City are his best option for a swift return because while Chelsea have shown they have the cash with Todd Boehly, they have already spent a staggering £500 million in the last two transfer windows, having acquired another bright midfield talent in Enzo Fernandez. For the style of football and his own personal development, City would probably be the teenager’s best option in the Premier League right now.
Real Madrid are one of the biggest clubs in the world, filled with a rich history and culture that spreads far and wide across the globe. Los Blancos may already be stocked with quality young midfielders in Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga, but with the increasing age of both Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, as well as their contracts expiring, Carlo Ancelotti could be in need of reinforcement. And with Frenchman Camavinga being deployed regularly at left-back this term, there could definitely be a spot opening up for Bellingham in the middle of the park.
Bellingham has been on their radar for quite some time, even dating back to his academy days at Birmingham, and he is the perfect profiled midfielder that can flourish at the Santiago Bernabeu for many years to come due to his age. His quality is far beyond his years and should there be a concrete offer on the table from one of the world’s most prestigious clubs, the England youngster will find it very difficult to turn such an opportunity down. They don’t come around often for England players.
City's rivals Manchester United have also been tracking Bellingham for several years. They even gave him a tour of Carrington to try and lure him to Old Trafford from Birmingham in 2020. Manager Erik ten Hag reportedly holds the midfielder in high regard and would be willing to make a huge attempt to sign him in the summer if the club's prospective takeover were to happen in time.