Liverpool lifeline in Bellingham fight emerges after Ornstein bombshell; ‘bidding war’ can be avoided

Lewis Oldham
Liverpool target Bellingham

Liverpool reportedly still have a chance of signing Jude Bellingham, even though David Ornstein has revealed that the deal is ‘increasingly unlikely’.

It is common knowledge that Bellingham is Liverpool’s main target ahead of this summer’s transfer window.

They would have likely preferred to sign him last year, but Dortmund were unwilling to let him and Erling Haaland leave during the same transfer window.

Bellingham has further enhanced his reputation this season. He has captained Dortmund on several occasions and he also shone for England at the World Cup.

Liverpool have consistently been considered among the frontrunners in the race to sign Bellingham, but they face competition from the likes of Real Madrid and Man City.

The midfielder is under contract until 2025 so Dortmund can realistically set their asking price as high as they like.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein revealed earlier this week that the Reds are ‘increasingly unlikely’ to sign Bellingham. This is because the ‘anticipated fee, the financial power of rival suitors and their reticence about entering a bidding war at the level expected has cast significant doubt on Liverpool’s chances’.

James Pearce – the Liverpool journalist for The Athletic – responded to Ornstein’s report via the website’s mailbag on Tuesday morning.

He notes that Bellingham’s ‘good relationship’ with Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold is in ‘Liverpool’s favour’.

‘Bellingham is Liverpool’s top target, although as my colleague David Ornstein has revealed, it is by no means certain that they end up getting him given the other clubs are interested in doing a deal,’ Pearce wrote for The Athletic.

‘In Liverpool’s favour is the fact he has a good relationship with Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Bellingham is considering his options and I’d expect the picture to be much clearer by the end of the season.’

Pearce adds that a ‘bidding war’ would be avoided if a club ‘gets a firm commitment from the player’.

‘In terms of Bellingham, any club speaking to him and his representatives will have a clear idea of what Dortmund want in terms of a fee. If you get a firm commitment from the player about his destination of choice then that should avoid any bidding war,’ Pearce added.

‘Finally, given any payment structure for Bellingham would be spread out, I don’t think it’s a case of needing to sell players to raise funds. I wouldn’t be selling any of [Thiago, Fabinho, Joel Matip and Diogo Jota] unless Liverpool receive massive offers.

‘For what you’d get for Thiago this summer, you’d be better off keeping him for the final year of his contract.

‘If you’re upgrading one of the centre-backs this summer, I think it would make more sense to offload Joel Matip rather than Gomez. And as for Jota, he’s still a great option.’

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