“News #Klopp: Nothing has changed. He is not thinking of resigning & continues to have the full support of the bosses. They concede him a weak season. Been told that after Gakpo no big transfers are planned this month – at this stage. 100% focus on Bellingham! #LFC @SkySportDE”
There is no doubt that Plettenberg’s update is good news for Jurgen Klopp and the Anfield faithful, as the signing of Bellingham would be a major coup for the club, especially considering the situation in which they have found themselves this season.
Liverpool are currently ninth in the Premier League and ten points adrift of a Champions League qualifying place inside the top four after 18 matches, whilst also being knocked out of the Carabao Cup and heading for an FA Cup replay away to Wolverhampton Wanderers tonight.
Furthermore, a midfield rebuild is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for the Merseyside giants, with a number of players coming to the end of their contracts in the summer. Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are all set for an exit as things stand, leaving Liverpool with a huge lack of depth in that area next season.
Bellingham has been a target for the Reds since he was a child, as the Birmingham-born teenage talent trialled at the club when he was at U11 level but decided to remain in his hometown to continue his development. That has led to the Dortmund star becoming a key player for England – starting all five of their 2022 World Cup games – and one of the highest-rated young prospects in world football.
Indeed, it is no secret that Liverpool will have competitors to secure the player’s signature in 2023 as Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City have all been named as highly interested parties as well.
However, Klopp will be hoping that he can attract the 19-year-old by offering him a leading role at Anfield which could potentially turn into the captaincy of the club, with Jordan Henderson in the latter stages of his career and Bellingham already wearing the armband for Dortmund on occasion.
Liverpool are experiencing a bad run of form at the moment in the top flight, but if they can secure the signing of the England teenager in the coming months, it would be a piece of business which could not only transform the team next season but give the club a top-class talent for the long-term future.