‘It’s vital to stress…’ – The Athletic journalist cites Jude Bellingham to Liverpool ‘caveat’

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David Ornstein has not totally ruled out the possibility of Liverpool signing Jude Bellingham, despite previous claims that it’s an improbable move.

The journalist stated in an article for The Athletic this morning that the Reds’ chances of landing the Borussia Dortmund starlet are ‘regarded as increasingly unlikely’ due to ‘the anticipated fee, the financial power of rival suitors and their reticence about entering a bidding war at the level expected’.

However, the reporter later stressed the ‘caveat’ that ‘things can change’ drastically in such transfer pursuits.

Ornstein told The Athletic’s Liverpool podcast, Walk On: “It’s looking increasingly unlikely that Liverpool will do the deal this summer, as things stand. I’ll always add that caveat because things can change because things can change and decisions are yet to be made.

“It’s mainly likely to come down to finances, the expected transfer fee, we don’t know what that is going to be at this time. We’ve reported that Borussia Dortmund are looking for around €150m. Liverpool don’t know what competitions they’re going to be playing in, Champions League or Europa League and that will affect budgets.”

He added: “It’s vital to stress Liverpool’s pursuit is not off, but that is our understanding of the current situation, speaking to multiple sources with knowledge of this situation from across the industry. Liverpool would be reluctant to get into a bidding war at that level of finance.

“We’re not saying with certainty how this is going to conclude, we’re trying our best to relay to you what we’re hearing at this moment in time.”

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While Ornstein doubled down on his initial report about Liverpool being ‘unlikely’ to sign Bellingham, his comments on the podcast seem to offer a message to the Anfield faithful not to give up completely on the prospective transfer just yet.

It’s no secret that Dortmund are going to demand top dollar for the 19-year-old, and that fellow suitors Real Madrid and Manchester City (The Athletic) would have no hesitation in paying a premium in order to land him.

A lot could come down to FSG’s willingness to go big on the England international. Do they send out a statement by going big and showing that they’re capable of flexing their muscles for perhaps their most wanted asset?

Alternatively, do they take the stance that the money which would be spent on Bellingham could be utilised on recruiting multiple midfielders for a cumulative price equal to, or less than, what the teenager would cost?

Like Ornstein has suggested, so much can change in such transfer sagas, and this story looks like it’ll run for some time yet. Plenty could hinge on whether or not we secure Champions League qualification, but the message appears to be ‘don’t write it off completely’.

#Ep73 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Author chat with Chris Roberts on Football, Mental Health… and more!

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