Will Liverpool beat out the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester City, and plenty more of Europe’s top outfits to Jude Bellingham’s signature?
A chorus of “no!” has been the response from rival fans, a handful of commentators and even those within the Reds’ fanbase.
That level of negativity is understandable given the comparative finances available for the Merseysiders, even when taking into account the vast improvement in income courtesy of sponsorship deals and an enlarged stadium.
Jurgen Klopp’s men, quite simply, will be utterly dwarfed in the market with Fabrizio Romano making it clear on Jan Aage Fjortoft’s YouTube channel that both the Blues and Los Blancos are prepared to put their money where their mouth is – and by goodness are those some mightily gigantic jaws.
So then… how much are we talking about for Jude Bellingham?
A figure ranging between €100-140m (£87.4-£122.3m) has been cited by the Italian transfer expert, though even that range could be wildly off the mark if Bellingham happens to enjoy a phenomenal World Cup in Qatar.
The pessimists will tell you there’s not a hope in hell of Liverpool stumping up the cash (potentially most of it up front if our competitors are serious about doing the same) to buy us a seat at the negotiating table for this generation’s star midfielder.
History tells us there’s a grain of truth in that assertion. We don’t just spend willy-nilly; there has to be a rhyme and reason to it.
As far as the ‘reason’ is concerned, we’ve already hit the nail on the head – we’re talking about a GENERATIONAL midfielder.
If Jude Bellingham plays for Liverpool for the next decade or so, even a fee ranging to something jaw-dropping like, say, £150m in total works out at £15m a season.
Obviously, the makeup of a deal doesn’t work out that way and we’ll be forced to make our interest clear with a big bid ourselves.
Can Liverpool actually sign Jude Bellingham?
Liverpool’s two biggest deals – for Virgil van Dijk and Darwin Nunez (both coming in the Jurgen Klopp era) – shows that we already have an actionable blueprint in place for potential big-money signings.
The Guardian reported that we paid ‘around £70m’ of the £75m fee up front (the remainder coming in add-ons) whilst it’s well-known that £64m was fronted for Darwin Nunez, a fee which will likely rise to £85m.
A willingness to pay 93.33% and 75.29% respectively of the total fee straight up proves that we’re more than capable of putting our own money (as much as our capabilities in the financial sphere pale in comparison to state/oil-funded outfits) where our mouth is.
A shift to (opting for a middle ground percentage (84.31%) of both fees paid for Van Dijk and Nunez) forking out £103.11m (assuming Dortmund don’t venture beyond £122.3m) up front for Europe’s most exciting teenage prodigy is significant.
We won’t deny that it will inspire some serious discussion on our part if there are other targets available who Jurgen Klopp and our scouting department feel might still satisfy the former’s requirements.
Liverpool will have to go big to join their fellow European heavyweights at the negotiating table next summer but recent history suggests we’ll go toe to toe with our rivals provided Bellingham’s wage demands aren’t excessive.