Who should sign Jude Bellingham?
By Euan Burns
The January transfer window may be fast approaching, but the biggest deals in football tend to be done in the summer and they are always in the works for a long time before the signature arrives. One of the biggest deals of the next year or so will almost certainly be Borussia Dortmund's sale of Jude Bellingham.
He is expected to leave the Bundesliga side at the end of the season as part of the reason he joined Dortmund was that they promised not to stand in his way when the time came for a step up. They showed with Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho recently that they will stick by their word. Dortmund would likely expect a fee of around €150m.
Every big club would love to add Bellingham to their squad, but which sides look the most likely to win the race for the English midfielder?
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There appears to be a belief among Liverpool fans that the club is entirely focused on signing Jude Bellingham, though 90min understands he is not the club's only midfield target. The Reds are one of three teams to have contacted agent Jorge Mendes about a transfer for Argentina star Enzo Fernandez.
Jurgen Klopp knows that he has an ageing midfield with the likes of Thiago and Jordan Henderson being heavily relied upon and it is a part of the pitch that could do with slightly more dynamism and creativity. Bellingham would prove an expensive target for Liverpool and that could end up being the issue. If a bidding war begins, Liverpool may be the first to pull out.
- Jurgen Klopp discusses Liverpool's pursuit of Jude Bellingham
- Benfica deny reaching agreement to sell Enzo Fernandez
Real Madrid have moved slightly away from 'galactico' style signings in the past couple of seasons, but they could make an exception for a star like Bellingham. He may only be 19 years old, but he already has that aura.
There is no denying that Real Madrid want him, but the futures of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos need to be determined first. They won't sign Bellingham to spend a season on the bench, and he wouldn't join for that.
There has been no lack of praise for Bellingham from Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola and he is certainly the profile of player the Premier League champions would like to sign.
When City drew with Dortmund in the Champions League earlier this season, Guardiola said: "It’s not just about his quality, he has a special mentality. He is already one of the captains of the team; to happen at 19 is quite impressive.”
City could certainly afford him and while they are very stacked in midfield, Guardiola always seems to find a way to accommodate players in his team. There is also the factor of reuniting him with Erling Haaland.
Erik ten Hag appears to be very happy with his current midfield as Christian Eriksen and Casemiro have hit some very good form either side of the World Cup. The chance to sign Bellingham could be too good to miss though.
Having been heavily linked with both Bellingham and Haaland before they went to Dortmund, to see both end up at their biggest rivals would be seriously concerning. The money may need to be invested into an expensive striker rather than a midfielder though, so it could be a case of the right player at the wrong time for United.
Chelsea's spending power under Todd Boehly is not fully known yet, but if the calibre of transfer links they are enjoying are to be believed, Bellingham is affordable.
Chelsea's midfield does need to be improved if they are to challenge for the Premier League title again, and Bellingham will certainly be able to help.