Sky in Germany's Florian Plettenberg on Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham: "There are three targets - Real Madrid, Man City and Liverpool. Liverpool are one of the favourites, and Jurgen Klopp is pushing, pushing, pushing for him and says he is his No 1 transfer target."
Wednesday 25 January 2023 12:56, UK
Liverpool remain favourites to sign Borussia Dortmund talisman Jude Bellingham this summer despite competition from Man City and Real Madrid, according to Sky in Germany.
Speaking on the Transfer Show, Sky in Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is "pushing, pushing, pushing" to bring the 19-year-old back to England to enhance his side's midfield.
Bellingham starred for England during the World Cup in Qatar last year and was also shortlisted for the 2022 European Golden Boy award. He has been in fine form for Dortmund in Europe and the Bundesliga, and has scored 10 goals in 23 games in all competitions.
Klopp has already hinted during January that his squad will undergo significant changes this summer, with Liverpool ninth in the Premier League and 10 points off the final Champions League qualification spot, with the midfielder his top target.
"We all think Bellingham will leave this summer, and that there is no chance Dortmund can keep him at this stage," Plettenberg said.
"But he has a contract without a release clause, so the price tag is very high. Dortmund want to have between €100m-€150m for him in the summer.
"There are three targets for him - Real Madrid, Man City and Liverpool. Liverpool are one of the favourites, and Jurgen Klopp is pushing, pushing, pushing for him and says he is his No 1 transfer target.
"Klopp hasn't spoken to Bellingham personally yet, but the conversations have been held with people like Julian Ward. Now they just have to work out who is paying the money."
Klopp has previously talked up Bellingham in public on multiple occasions, and labelled him "exceptional" last month on the back of his World Cup performances.
BILD TV reporter Valentina Maceri speaking to Sky Sports News:
"Our information is the conversation between Bellingham's management, his father and Borussia Dortmund is scheduled for March.
"Dortmund directors Sebastian Kehl and Hans-Joachim Watzke are doing everything they can to make him stay at Dortmund. They have made him a historic offer to be the highest-paid player of all time at Borussia Dortmund.
"If he chooses to extend, he would earn around €15m per season. Right now, Marco Reus is the highest-paid player at Dortmund around €12m per season.
"But right now, I'm still not so confident that Bellingham will extend at Dortmund.
"Bellingham would love to play for Liverpool but there is the money issue - he won't be cheap. He could be €140-150m and there's still Real Madrid and Manchester City in the race. They have a lot more money than Liverpool.
"At the moment, Liverpool aren't going to qualify for the Champions League - this is a big point that has to be considered as well. I still think Bellingham would like to play for Liverpool, that's my gut."
Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol:
"From a career point of view, maybe it makes most sense for Bellingham to go to Real Madrid later in his career.
"It's not a move he has to make now. From a footballing point of view, I think Liverpool is the perfect move for him in the summer.
"People have asked whether Liverpool could compete if they got into a bidding war with the likes of Man City and Real Madrid, assuming those two would be able to pay more than Liverpool.
"I don't think that's the case. If you look at Man City in recent times, there's been plenty of occasions where they have walked away from deals where they have felt the valuation has been wrong.
"I don't think Real Madrid have more money to spend in the transfer market than Liverpool either. From everything we're hearing, Liverpool is his most likely destination in the summer."