Fabrizio Romano has suggested that “Arsenal can’t compete” with the likes of Liverpool and Real Madrid in the chase for Jude Bellingham.
The Gunners have been phenomenal this season, but this is hardly surprising.
Arsenal have never been mentioned in the conversation about Bellingham ahead of his inevitable departure from Borussia Dortmund next year.
This is understandable as prior to the season, Arsenal had not been viewed as a club on the same trajectory as the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.
This has altered in the early weeks of the 2022/23 campaign, though. Arsenal have won eight of their opening nine Premier League games to sit top of the table.
Ian Wright teased Arsenal fans last week when he suggested that he “knows players are waiting” for the club to qualify for the Champions League before signing for them.
Joleon Lescott has now indicated that the Gunners could be in with a chance of signing Bellingham:
“If Arsenal manage to get top four, which I think they do, then they attract a whole different calibre of player.
“I can see people like Jude Bellingham deciding over them, if you are looking at Liverpool who potentially may or may not make top four, and Arsenal you’re thinking ‘They’ve got Champions League’
“Now all of a sudden you are attracting a different calibre of player, which propels you again, which we have seen now with Manchester United they are able to attract.”
The battle to sign Bellingham is hotting up and it has been claimed that he could cost as much as £137m next summer.
The Englishman’s wages will also be sky-high so only a handful of clubs will be in a position to afford him.
Arsenal are clearly on the up but Romano has confirmed that they “can’t compete” for a player like Bellingham “just yet”.
The journalist has also reported that “Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, Man Utd and of course Real Madrid” all “really want him”:
“Some fans have asked me for my thoughts on this after Joleon Lescott spoke on BT Sport about Arsenal possibly being an option for Jude Bellingham. I’m afraid I don’t think it’s possible,” Romano wrote for Caught Offside.
“I’m a big fan of what Mikel Arteta and Edu are doing and I think Arsenal are doing fantastic but it’s also about the salary; this is why other Premier League and La Liga clubs can offer different kind of contract.
“Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, Man United and of course Real Madrid really want him. Arsenal can’t compete with those clubs for a player like this just yet.”
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