Liverpool’s potential sale will NOT derail their bid to sign Jude Bellingham with the 19-year-old England star still Jurgen Klopp’s No 1 target… but the Reds will face competition from Man City, Chelsea and Real Madrid
Any potential Liverpool sale will not derail their ambitious bid to sign England star Jude Bellingham in the summer – amid rumours there is a release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract.
The midfielder’s electric World Cup performances have only increased interest in the 19-year-old but Sportsmail understands Liverpool are ahead of Manchester City in the race for him.
Liverpool’s current owners – Fenway Sports Group – put the club for sale last month but they will want to ensure the team is left in good shape.
Jude Bellingham has shone for England at the World Cup and is Liverpool’s No 1 target
Jordan Henderson and Jude Bellingham are England’s unlikely double act, inspiring their bid for glory at the World Cup in Qatar
The pair have formed a bromance at the World Cup, but it has been a long-time in the making
Any new owners, whether it be a full takeover or investment as a minority stake, will also want to ensure the sports side is looked after and Bellingham is emerging as a world class player.
Recent recruitment at Anfield, including the loan signing of Arthur Melo from Juventus, has been geared around creating space for Bellingham.
Despite reports in Germany that Dortmund would demand over £130million for Bellingham next year, there are strong rumours of a release clause in his contract.
Real Madrid and Chelsea are expected to be other clubs pursuing the teenager, whose performances at the World Cup have only increased his value.
Bellingham has been performing well in what is likely to be his last season at Dortmund
Bellingham headed home his first senior international goal in England’s 6-2 win over Iran
He then teed up his midfielder partner Henderson to open the scoring against Senegal
Bellingham scored his first senior international goal when he headed home Luke Shaw’s cross in England’s 6-2 win over Iran in their opening World Cup group game.
Starting each game so far, he also teed up Jordan Henderson’s opening goal in the 3-0 last-16 win over Senegal on Sunday.
Bellingham has formed a close bond with Liverpool midfielder Henderson during the tournament.
‘He is a one-off and we have just got to let him keep enjoying his football,’ said Henderson after the Senegal game.
‘He’s only 19, so let him enjoy it. He has been incredible in this tournament but for a long period of time now that has been the case with Borussia Dortmund and he has carried it into here.
Bellingham has also formed a close bond with Henderson’s Liverpool team-mate Trent Alexander-Arnold as the midfielder continues to be linked with a move to Anfield
‘He is going to keep going from strength to strength and being a big player for England.’
Bellingham was stood beside Henderson as he delivered these words in the mixed zone and joked ‘you’ve ruined it for all of us’ when a reporter asked about the pair playing together at Liverpool.
England continue their World Cup campaign with a quarter-final against France on Saturday night.