Liverpool have been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham as manager Jurgen Klopp looks to bolster his engine room options.
According to the Daily Star, the Anfield outfit have set their sights on the highly-rated 18-year-old after failing to secure a replacement for Gini Wijnaldum over the summer transfer window.
The report states that: “Klopp has made the England sensation his No.1 target – and the Reds are believed to be ahead of bitter rivals Manchester United in the race to sign him,” with the potential asking price thought to be around £80 million.
“It is understood Bellingham is happy at Dortmund and will not agitate for a return to English football. But he knows his long-term future is in the Premier League and would find the lure of a move to Anfield difficult to resist,” the report continues.
Bellingham only arrived at the Signal Iduna Park 12 months ago after departing boyhood club Birmingham City in a £25m deal.
Nevertheless, the teenage sensation has soon established himself as one of the most promising young midfielders in the European game, featuring for both Dortmund and England on a regular basis.
Despite his tender years, Bellingham made 46 appearances for Dortmund last season in all competitions, scoring four goals and providing a further four assists, earning a place in Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions squad for Euro 2020.
His call-up to the senior national team set-up came as no surprise to most, and the national team boss was full of praise for the youthful maestro after his selection.
“Jude is phenomenal. Just in training in the last couple of days, to have a 17-year-old, who wants to compete with senior players, not only has the technique but the competitiveness and maturity… he’s a hugely exciting player,” said Southgate.
Klopp places a unique set of demands upon his midfielders due to his innovative gegenpressing system as they must combine tactical and positional intelligence with natural athleticism and stamina. Bellingham has all of those attributes in abundance.
His key assets would provide the perfect balance to Thiago’s precise passing and ability to dictate the tempo of the game if the duo were paired together in the Liverpool midfield, perfectly offsetting Wijnaldum’s departure.
Therefore, director of football Michael Edwards must sanction a potential club-record move for Bellingham, ensuring the 19-time English champions continue to evolve under their German manager.
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