Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man City and Man United didn’t see Dortmund coming. And Harry Kane is off.
At last check, all the usual suspects had shown an interest in Jude Bellingham. Manchester United made a reported £30m bid in January, while City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have all been linked.
Each should prepare to be disappointed. Borussia Dortmund will be signing ‘one of the greatest hopes in English football’ this summer.
Sport Bild say the Bundesliga giants ‘are very far ahead in the race’ for the teenager, who would become their record signing (hopefully it won’t go as badly as these).
A £30.5m fee will edge the number it took to bring Mats Hummels back from Bayern Munich.
And Bellingham ‘fits perfectly’ at the Westfalenstadion. It should be noted that the Sport Bild magazine is not quite as reliable as their Sport-less cousin, but this is still something.
Tottenham have never really been linked with Bellingham. But a Daily Telegraph story suggests they might be flush with money soon, so perhaps that will change shortly.
Not that Spurs would be delighted at the source of the income. Not when it is Harry Kane who ‘will consider’ his future at the club and might need Tottenham to ‘convince’ him that ‘he does not need to move to take his career to the next level’.
Spoiler: he does.
Tottenham are obviously ‘determined’ not to lose their talisman – even if it would add to all the weirdness. And of course Daniel Levy ‘will believe he holds all the power’.
Kane would be valued at upwards of £150m if he cannot be persuaded to stay. Spurs would even offer him an increase on his current £200,000-a-week wage if it came to that. With Real Madrid and Manchester United circling, and Champions League qualification far from certain, it might be necessary.
ZIZOU ARE YA?
Real’s first-choice striker target is Kylian Mbappe but that could easily change. Particularly if the Independent’s claim that Mauricio Pochettino is being targeted to replace Zinedine Zidane comes true.
Real have apparently ‘asked to be kept aware’ of Pochettino’s ‘movements’, which doesn’t sound creepy whatsoever. But the suggestion is that ‘strained relationships’, ‘tension’ with players and the board and a generally dissatisfied ‘atmosphere’ could see Zidane lose his job.
The Clasico win over Barcelona certainly helped. Yet Zidane is not ‘as subservient’ as president Florentino Perez would like; he ‘is sure of his footing’ as a manager.
How Pochettino differs is unknown. But Real want ‘to maintain an open line of dialogue’ going forward.
AND THE REST
Barcelona have joined Liverpool and Real Madrid in the race for 20-year-old Valencia winger Ferran Torres… Manchester United forward Alexis Sanchez, 31, will need to accept a significant drop in wages if he wants to complete a permanent switch to Inter Milan this summer… West Ham will firm up their interest in Brentford’s 22-goal striker Ollie Watkins, 24, in the summer if the Bees are not promoted to the Premier League… Everton are interested in a number of midfield options including Espanyol 23-year-old Marc Roca… Aston Villa are interested in Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson, 25, but know their chances of signing the former France Under-21 international hinge on their Premier League survival.