Europe’s elite set to battle over Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham
The future of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham could be the hottest topic in European soccer in the coming months, as the rumors have begun to suggest he could be looking for a move away from the Bundesliga club next summer.
The England international was the most expensive 17-year-old in the world when he made the jump from Birmingham City to the Signal Iduna Park in 2020 for a reported fee of just under £25 million. Since then, Bellingham has cemented himself as one of the game’s top prospects in the center of the park.
As a result of the news he could be up for sale in the summer of 2023, a number of Europe’s top clubs are said to have registered their interest in the 19-year-old. But needing a reported price tag close to €100 million, only a handful possess the resources necessary to pull off a deal.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential destinations of one of Europe’s most sought after young talents.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have been one of the top teams in Europe in the last five years, and in that time have collected four major trophies, including triumphs in the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League.
But in the early months of the 2022/23 campaign, the Reds have shown inconsistent form and perhaps some signs of slowing down after years of sustained success. One potential reason for the Merseyside outfit’s slow start to the season has been the lack of quality in midfield.
With injuries to Fabinho, Jordan Henderson and Thiago in the early weeks of the campaign, Klopp’s men have consistently been overrun in the center of the park, and as a result find themselves in eighth place in the Premier League table, 9 points adrift of the top.
After spending a reported £85 million on Uruguayan striker Darwin Nuñez in the summer, the club did not splash further cash to strengthen their aging midfield. That reluctance to invest in a midfielder could pave the way for a potential move for Bellingham in 2023.
Klopp has already admitted to being an admirer of the Borussia Dortmund star. However, Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, have been reluctant to spend big on transfer fees on the same level as their Premier League counterparts in the past, which could leave them at a disadvantage in a bidding war.
The reigning Premier League champions tend to strengthen when they are on top, as most successful clubs of the past have done. Having won four of the last five Premier League titles, City will likely look to invest in young talent to continue their dominance.
Similar to their Northwest rivals Liverpool, City’s midfield could be on the brink of turnover in the near future.
Both Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gündoğan will be 32 years old by the start of next season. Furthermore, midfield maestro Bernardo Silva has long been linked with a move away from the Etihad club, and many reports have suggested this could be his last season in sky blue.
Like Klopp, City boss Pep Guardiola is said to highly rate Bellingham, who has scored twice against Guardiola’s side the last two seasons.
To help City’s cause in a potential race for Bellingham’s signature, the Premier League club have proven to have a great relationship with Borussia Dortmund in the transfer market, having signed both Erling Haaland and Manuel Akanji from Dortmund this past summer.
According to The Sun, City are “convinced” they will triumph in a bidding war for the midfielder after it became clear the German club would sell their star player for just £83 million, so long as it is paid in one installment.
With their financial might, City could be in the driver’s seat to pull off another sensational transfer for one of Europe’s top prospects.
Real Madrid cannot be left out of the conversation when it comes to signing one of the sport’s top young players.
After selling longtime midfield stalwart Casemiro to Manchester United in August, and investing in young players such as Aurélien Tchouaméni and Eduard Camavinga in recent transfer windows, the Spanish giants could be keen on building Europe’s next great midfield force.
While they have been sensational servants to the club, racking up trophy after trophy in style, Madrid legends Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić are not getting any younger. At 32 and 37 respectively, their time at the club will surely come to an end sooner rather than later.
With Tchouaméni and Camavinga already beginning to find their feet in the Madrid midfield, club president Florentino Pérez will almost certainly be keen on joining the race for Jude Bellingham.
In fact, According to El Chiringuito journalist Jose Alvarez Haya, for Marca, Bellingham would prefer to join Real Madrid over the Premier League clubs, as he is keen to be “part of the generational change in the Madrid midfield.”