Transfer journalist shares what he’s heard from Dortmund involving Liverpool & Bellingham

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It’s now understood that Jude Bellingham would ‘rather stay’ at Borussia Dortmund beyond the summer rather than rush an exit in 2023.

It’s a reality that would infinitely suit Liverpool better following their decision to pull out ahead of the race, though it’s far from guaranteed that the Reds would sign him a year down the line.

Jonathan Northcroft has noted that the player is yet to offer a clear indication of his preferred move, which may have meant that Jurgen Klopp’s men might have missed out anyway on the German’s top target even if a viable transfer kitty was present.

“With Manchester United interested and Paris Saint-Germain (despite reports) also considered to be keen, Dortmund can anticipate an auction. Bellingham has no buyout clause and his price is expected to be north of £130 million once fees are factored in,” the journalist reported for The Times.

“However, his destination will be Bellingham’s choice, not his club’s. It is understood that he would rather stay at Dortmund and reassess in 2024 than be pushed towards a move that’s not absolutely right for him.

“In further contrast to perceptions, there was never any indication that he preferred Liverpool. His father, Mark, is a Liverpool fan, but the player and his family have plotted his career to date flawlessly by taking all factors other than what is best for his development out of the equation.

“So, with no special levers to make the deal happen, Liverpool pulled out to avoid the risk of allocating a huge chunk of their budget and summer to a bidding war they were not favourites to win.”

As things stand, it’s a set of circumstances that will appeal to the club’s hierarchy, allowing the coaching team time to get things right and engineer a possible return to the top four should Champions League prove elusive as expected in 2022/23.

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Dependent on whether Bellingham chooses to put pen to paper on a new contract that adds a release clause to his current terms, it would theoretically be easier for an interested party to land the former Birmingham City youngster given his contract expires in 2025.

In the meantime, we can’t afford to be inactive in yet another summer window when it comes to replenishing a midfield that increasingly finds itself on its last legs.

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