Liverpool pull out of second race after Bellingham as midfielder search goes from bad to worse

Matt Stead

After withdrawing themselves from the Jude Bellingham race, Liverpool have stepped back from another midfielder chase and been told one more will cost £80m.


With the pretty funny news breaking on Tuesday evening that Liverpool have just realised Jude Bellingham might cost a little bit of money to sign, attention inevitably turns to who the Reds will target instead.

Many of the same names are repeated by the outlets rushing to make sense of the situation. Mason Mount, Conor Gallagher, Moises Caicedo, Ryan Gravenberch and Alexis MacAllister are among them.

But the most interesting lines come from the well-connected Neil Jones of He says Inter Milan midfielder, Nicolo Barella, Teun Koopmeiners of Atalanta and Salzburg’s Luka Sucic are on the club’s transfer shortlist.

And more strikingly still, one player apparently is not. Jones reports that ‘interest in Wolves’ Matheus Nunes is understood to have cooled,’ perhaps similarly because of inhibitive costs. Who could possibly have foreseen this expensive need to reconstruct most of the squad at the same time?

Reported Liverpool target Matheus Nunes battles for the ball with Bruno Fernandes


The idea that Caicedo remains a Liverpool target is a little weird, considering Brighton rejected offers up to £70m for him in January. The Ecuadorean midfielder would not come cheap, especially with the new contract he signed in March.

The Seagulls might be holding out for £80m or so, if Football Insider are to be believed. And they probably are sometimes. That new deal ‘will have no bearing on a potential transfer’ as it was likely designed to protect the interests of everyone but potentially buyers.

Arsenal are still keeping tabs on Caicedo, while Chelsea and Man Utd are a little more serious in their respective pursuits. If Liverpool want the 21-year-old there might be a little shock if they’re pulling out of the Bellingham race due to cost and competition.


As aforementioned, Gallagher is on the Liverpool radar while uncertainty surrounds pretty much everything at Chelsea. The 23-year-old will have two years left on his contract by season’s end, having rejected numerous offers of a renewal, but could leave in search of more stability.

Liverpool are among his options, but so too are West Ham. The London Evening Standard name England teammates Gallagher and Kalvin Phillips as potential replacements for Declan Rice.

Newcastle would also want to be part of a conversation around Gallagher, while Manchester City are reluctant to sell Phillips so soon before his inevitable boon of a second season under Pep Guardiola. West Ham did bid £50m for him in January 2022 so he has his admirers.