An update has emerged on Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham, regarding Manchester City’s interest in his services.
According to the Daily Star, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has identified Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham as a target for next summer’s transfer window, but he’ll face competition from Liverpool for the England star’s signature.
The report claims that City see Bellingham as a replacement for Fernandinho, with any deal for the midfielder expected to cost in the region of £80m.
Man City must ensure that they can beat Liverpool to Bellingham’s signature next summer as they could secure their midfield partnership for years to come by getting him in. They could bring the 18-year-old in and have him form a relationship with Spanish international Rodri, forming a solid base for the rest of the side to build on.
In the 2020/21 campaign, City’s most used XI came in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan the preferred pairing in the two holding midfield roles. The latter of the two, however, turns 31 in October and may not be an option for Guardiola in the long term, which is why the signing of Bellingham could be crucial for the club.
The Dortmund midfielder is a promising young talent and could have the potential to be a key player for City for many years should they bring him to The Etihad. England boss Gareth Southgate previously hailed him as a ‘hugely exciting player’, having already handed him eight caps at the international level. He said:
“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.”
At the age of 18, Bellingham has already played 33 Bundesliga matches and 10 games in the Champions League for Dortmund, having also played 41 games in the Championship for Birmingham at the start of his career. This shows that he already has plenty of experience under his belt despite his age.
With Rodri only turning 25 a couple of months ago, City could have a central midfield pairing to last them a number of years by bringing Bellingham in to partner the Spaniard. They could be perfect together as Rodri offers the defensive steel and positional discipline, whilst Bellingham is able to cover ground and go from box-to-box – averaging 3.3 tackles and interceptions along with 3.0 key passes and dribbles per game this season for Dortmund.
This is why City must seal a deal for the £80m midfielder. Guardiola would then be able to relax about his options in that area of the pitch for the foreseeable future as he would have Rodri and Bellingham, who are both still young, to work with as starters.