World Cup winner says Bellingham’s friend ‘can be the next Messi’ amid Liverpool links

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Liverpool fans will be hoping that the links between the club and Bayern Munich gem Jamal Musiala remain strong after Lothar Matthaus labelled the midfielder ‘the Messi of the future’.

The teenager came to Germany’s rescue in Qatar with the crucial assist for Niclas Fullkrug’s equaliser against Spain to keep their World Cup hopes ticking over.

“He can be the Messi of the future, he is excellent,” the World Cup-winner told BBC Sport.

“I have loved him for the last two years, I love his style of football and I love his personality.

“He is 19 years old, he is doing the things that will make him a top footballer. He has great passing, he is clever with his thinking and he loves football.

“Musiala can be the next Messi because when Messi was 17, 18 years old, I met him for the first time when he played against Hungary [the team Matthaus managed then] and he got sent off after 40 seconds.

“He came on to the field and tried to show he loves football, he has a passion for football. I have been a big fan of him from two years ago when he first broke through.”

Sky Sports’ Florian Plettenberg confirmed on Twitter back in October that the Merseysiders were keeping tabs on the youngster among a host of top outfits.

It very much remains to be seen whether Musiala will seek pastures new after the World Cup; if the reporter’s comments are anything to go by, he’ll be in no hurry to do so.

READ MORE: (Photo) Journalist spots what Van Dijk did off-screen after Cody Gakpo’s World Cup goal

With a contract not set to expire until 2026, the Bavarians will rightly feel more than comfortable about their chances of warding off any serious bids in the upcoming summer window and, indeed, the one after that.

Given that another exciting midfield prospect in Jude Bellingham (with whom the 12-goal starlet is friends with) is expected to seek a new challenge in 2023, however, there’s no guarantee that the German champions will be able to keep hold of their star prodigy for a significant period of time beyond that.

Depending on how our midfield situation looks at that time, we’d certainly hope that our recruitment team seriously consider throwing our hat into the ring should Musiala’s services become available at a later date.

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