Jude Bellingham has shone for England at the World Cup, where they face France in the last eight on Saturday; the midfielder's performances have been "amazing", says PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who admits "everybody" wants to sign the midfielder from Borussia Dortmund
Wednesday 7 December 2022 06:16, UK
Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi says Jude Bellingham is an "amazing player" and admits "everybody" wants to sign the Borussia Dortmund midfielder.
Bellingham has shone for England at the World Cup, where he has helped his side set up a quarter-final clash with France on Saturday, while he has established himself as one of the most exciting young players in world football at Borussia Dortmund following his 2020 move from Birmingham.
"England (are) lucky to have him, to be honest," Al-Khelaifi added. "He's one of the best players in the tournament.
"Amazing - his first World Cup. He's calm and relaxed, confident - amazing."
A host of Europe's top clubs are said to be interested in signing Bellingham next summer, with Liverpool making him their top priority, according to Sky in Germany.
Manchester City and Real Madrid are understood to be the other clubs holding the most interest and when asked whether PSG would join the chase for Bellingham, Al-Khelaifi said: "Everybody wants him, I'm not going to hide it.
"He's at his club, and (we have) respect, so if we want to talk to him we'll talk to the club first."
Dortmund are understood to already be planning for Bellingham's departure in 2023 as they brace themselves for a big offer in the summer, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said to be pushing to bring the midfielder to Anfield.
Bellingham, whose contract expires in the summer of 2025, is likely to cost more than £100m in transfer fees alone.
Sky in Germany transfer reporter Florian Plettenberg told Sky Sports News: "Borussia Dortmund are very happy with Jude Bellingham's World Cup performance so far because he's becoming even more valuable from the financial point of view.
"Bellingham is under contract until 2025 and he has no release clause, unlike Erling Haaland did.
"They're already planning for his summer exit in 2023. Dortmund would be fine with him leaving because they are confident in getting a transfer fee between €100m-€150m (£86.24m-£129.37m)."
A brave Real Madrid fan approached Bellingham in Qatar in a bid to convince the midfielder of moving to the Bernabeu while he was sat alongside Liverpool duo Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
"Bellingham, you are the best central-midfielder in the world," said the hopeful Real fan, who posted the video to TikTok.
"Come to Real Madrid, come to Real Madrid," he added.
To which Henderson replied, saying "No, no. Not Madrid, he's not going to Madrid."
The fan then made a joke about Liverpool losing to Real in the Champions League final - earning a big laugh from the group - before returning his attentions to Bellingham.
"Come to Real Madrid, Bellingham," he continued. "Please, Bellingham. If you come to Real Madrid you will win the Ballon d'Or."
Bellingham refused to give anything away but responded by saying: "We will see".
Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville believes the Manchester City and Liverpool players in the England squad are trying to get close to Bellingham as the race hots up for his signature - just as he did with Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand in the past.
"When I was in the [England] camp 15 years ago, I used to get close to Rooney, close to Rio Ferdinand," Neville told Sky Sports News. "Now you see Phil Foden next to Jude Bellingham, you see Trent Alexander-Arnold going for a walk with him, you see Jordan Henderson cuddling up to him at the end of the game.
"And you think 'you sneaky little s*ds, I know what you're trying to do, you lot'.
"That's the reality at this moment in time. [Bellingham] is more likely to go to Liverpool and Manchester City, just because of where they are at, what they are doing."
Borussia Dortmund managing director Carsten Cramer says while Liverpool would be his "preferred" next destination for Bellingham, Klopp's side cannot expect "any gifts" from his former club.
"We both care about Dortmund," said Cramer about Dortmund's relationship with their one-time manager, who is now in charge at Anfield.
"We have a high sympathy for Liverpool for sure. We are still in a good relationship with Jurgen and many others at Liverpool.
"So for me, it is my preferred club in the Premier League as well.
"But do not expect that we will make gifts to Liverpool."
Al-Khelaifi also told Sky News it will be "very difficult" to sign Cristiano Ronaldo because they already have Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
Ronaldo is a free agent after leaving Manchester United by mutual consent last month following his explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
Asked about signing the 37-year-old, Al-Khelaifi said: "The three players that we have Messi, Neymar and Mbappe, it's very difficult, but I wish him all the best.
"He's fantastic and he's still an amazing player."
Sky Sports News understands Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have made the best offer so far to sign Ronaldo.
Al-Nassr are one of a number of teams from the country interested in signing the Portuguese forward.
Sky Sports News exclusively revealed then that Ronaldo's likeliest destination would be a club in Saudi Arabia, with the country keen to make him an ambassador for the game there.