Ornstein names two advantages Liverpool have in Bellingham transfer race; ‘don’t rule out’ Man Utd

Joe Williams
Liverpool target Jude Bellingham runs with the ball

Liverpool are still one of the favourites to sign Jude Bellingham with a report claiming he ‘wouldn’t necessarily be put off by the club’s recent blip’.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder has caught the eye of numerous clubs around Europe with his performances in recent seasons making him one of the most sought-after players in world football.

Bellingham has taken his game to a new level since moving from Birmingham City to Dortmund in 2020 with the 19-year-old already representing England 22 times.

Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid are understood to be the main possible destinations for Bellingham in the summer transfer market.

Dortmund want €150m to allow the England international to depart in the next transfer window and The Athletic journalist David Ornstein – with help from fellow reporters Mario Cortegana and Raphael Honigstein – says we shouldn’t ‘be surprised if he extends his contract by a year with a set buyout clause for the following summer’.

On Liverpool’s interest, the report in The Athletic says:

‘Bellingham is Liverpool’s No 1 target for the summer as they look to rebuild a midfield in need of an injection of quality and youth. The heavy defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday was proof of that.

‘Cody Gakpo’s arrival in January showed the ownership are happy to invest in the squad despite the club being on the market/looking for investment, but the fee Dortmund want would be almost twice Liverpool’s club-record transfer, so whether they have the money or not is to be seen.

‘Nevertheless, Klopp has been impressed by Bellingham and is more likely to spend big on him than sign two players with the same money.

‘Bellingham is a huge admirer of Klopp and Liverpool, and several sources have insisted he wouldn’t necessarily be put off by the club’s recent blip.

‘In theory, Bellingham’s style means he would contribute well in Klopp’s system. He is a box-to-box player who helps decide games. One recurring theme in all the conversations for this article is that Bellingham is hugely intelligent and will think long-term — picking the right move is more important to him than a potential year without Champions League football. After Liverpool’s Real Madrid defeat, that scenario looks increasingly likely.

‘Another potential advantage for Liverpool is Klopp’s relationship with his former club. And with Liverpool’s director of football Julian Ward soon to depart, the manager’s role in trying to secure Bellingham could be particularly crucial.

‘Some involved in the Bellingham pursuit feel this is Liverpool’s deal to lose, but the money needed and Liverpool’s indifferent form may yet prove too big a barrier.’

Ornstein, Cortegana and Honigstein also touch on interest from Man Utd with the Red Devils now in a better position to compete for players due to their Premier League position.

With the Glazers putting Man Utd up for sale, The Athletic says: ‘If a sale happens in the coming weeks, don’t rule out United being the team to have the money to do this deal. Whether or not that is a move Bellingham wants remains to be seen.’

READ MORE: The Glazers are going. Now the fight against Qatar for Man Utd’s soul must begin…