Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand has warned Liverpool that Jude Bellingham will believe that Real Madrid is the “only place” he can go to this summer.
Bellingham is likely to leave Borussia Dortmund this summer. He is not out of contract until 2025 but he is expected to be let go later this year amid interest from Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
Dortmund have been keen to tie their prized asset down to a new long-term contract but considering who are interested in him, Bellingham is unlikely to accept fresh terms.
It is understood that Liverpool and Real Madrid have done more legwork than rival clubs interested in Bellingham.
The England international is Liverpool’s top target for the summer as they attempt to rebuild in midfield. But a deal for him could become more difficult if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Bellingham may view a move to Real Madrid as being more attractive at the moment. This could have been enhanced in recent weeks as the Spanish side beat Liverpool 6-2 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Real Madrid won 5-2 at Anfield last month and they got the better of Liverpool again in the second leg as Jurgen Klopp’s side exited the competition with a whimper.
Speaking after Wednesday night’s second leg, Ferdinand claimed Bellingham may feel that he needs to go to Real Madrid.
“I just think if he’s watching that tonight, he’s sitting there thinking if Real Madrid and Liverpool are in for me, there’s only one place I can go, and [Liverpool] don’t finish [in the] Champions League [places] as well maybe,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“As a player, you look at it coldly and go ‘I see more trophies here’.”
Stan Collymore has argued that Real Madrid are the “most attractive option” for Bellingham as things stand.
“The most attractive option for Jude Bellingham in the summer is Real Madrid,” Collymore told Caught Offside. “They still have an incredible habit of winning the Champions League – it’s their trophy and La Liga pretty much guarantees players of a 50% chance of winning the league.
“If I were Bellingham and [Liverpool owners] FSG announced they’d sold the club to uber-wealthy owners and Liverpool could then compete with the likes of Manchester City and PSG, I’d consider going to Anfield because he could become the poster boy of their new era but if that doesn’t happen in time for the summer, which I don’t think it will, then it has to be Real Madrid.”
He added: “I genuinely fear that we may not see Bellingham in the Premier League for a fair few years yet and I also wouldn’t be surprised if Real Madrid tried to unsettle Erling Haaland at Manchester City between now and the summer too.”
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