Jan Aage Fjortoft has confirmed that Jude Bellingham has yet to communicate to his entourage on a preferred destination in the summer when Borussia Dortmund are expected to entertain offers for their star prodigy.
Recent reports put forward that Real Madrid had stolen a march on their European rivals in the race for the teenager’s signature, though the midfielder is set to engage in a meeting with senior executives at the Bundesliga outfit over the potential exit process.
“The first thing that will happen now is that Jude Bellingham when Dortmund – they haven’t started the Bundesliga yet – he will sit down with [Hans-Joachim] Watzke and Sebastian Kehl and they will talk through the process,” the Norwegian spoke on his YouTube channel.
“I think that Dortmund know they will lose him and he has no clause in his contract meaning that this could be a record fee – people are talking about up to €150m.
“So who are the favourites? Real Madrid, as I said, there’s something about this club, it’s a myth, it’s everything and all big players in the world would have loved to play for that club at one stage int their career. But when do they think that it’s the right time to play for Real Madrid?
“Is it an end station where they’re going in their career or Jude Bellingham, an Englishman, that he wants to go to England first and then maybe go to Real Madrid later as Erling Haaland kind of makes his plan going to Spain after some years here in England.
“The usual suspects in England will be Liverpool, advantage being Jurgen Klopp. I talked to teammates and players he used to play with and they say he has this confidence and the feeling that they will get him, that his relationship with CEO Watzke will help him but it’s down to money and it’s also down to what Jude Bellingham wants to do.
“You saw during the World Cup that Henderson did all that he could to talk him into coming here.
“That’s normal. Jude Bellingham is a player who can play the 6, 8, 10 positions – he will score goals, he will give you the best attitude, he’s a leader on the pitch, so you understand Liverpool are desperate to get him.
“But there’s an outside chance for Manchester City as well. Manchester City and Pep Guardiola will always look for the best players in the world.
“He’s a young player. We will presume Erling Haaland will try and do the same thing Jordan Henderson is doing.
“The minus for Manchester City is that they have so many midfielders. Maybe the position here, he will have that job straight away at Liverpool as they need to restart that position in their team.”
The Merseysiders are said to not be keen on splashing serious cash on a midfielder in the January window, as has been emphasised by their absence from any dealings with Benfica over Enzo Fernandez.
A fee in and around the €150m (£132.9m) mark would absolutely smash our current transfer record – even taking into account Darwin Nunez’s full fee of £85m (should his add-ons all be activated).
Liverpool have to look at such a deal as a serious (and much-needed) investment in a department that is in some desperate need of TLC right now, let alone come the summer when as many as three midfielders could be departing once their contracts expire.
If Jordan Henderson’s performance against Leicester City last night was any indication, it’s clear that we can’t stop there either and that serious competition for the No.6 spot is required when Fabinho is absent through injury or out of form.
To leave all that potential business to the summer window seems like one hell of a risk to take when sitting outside of the top four spots (as things currently stand), though there’s no lack of trust when it comes to our recruitment team’s decision-making.