Liverpool have been continuously linked with moves for Jude Bellingham for many years now, and next summer it has been persistently reported that the club will try again to lure the Borussia Dortmund wonderkid away from Germany.
James Pearce has written an article for The Athletic this week giving an update on the Reds’ pursuit of the young midfielder and expects Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United to join the race to secure the popular player’s signature next summer.
With a staggering price tag of £131.6m, it is and will be one of the most highly anticipated transfer stories if any club manages to complete a deal for Bellingham over the next 12 months. Liverpool are considered the front-runners at present, but Pearce has now revealed that the club have already once missed out on a chance to sign the England international a decade ago.
Whilst in the U11s at Birmingham City, Bellingham and his parents made the trip up to Merseyside where the midfielder spent two days at the Kirkby academy. Liverpool desperately tried to convince the player and his family to make the move to the North West so that he could continue to develop in the club’s academy.
However, the star’s family made the disappointing decision to stay put in the Midlands after Liverpool made their pitch alongside Chelsea and Man City. That is now evidently a nightmare scenario given his current extortionate price tag but they have never given up on the hope that one day he would become the heart of the team at Anfield.
Now all eyes will be on FSG and the recruitment team at Liverpool to get the deal done over the Premier League powerhouses and European giants who pose a huge threat in signing the 19-year-old who was dubbed “exceptional” by Pep Guardiola.
The Liverpool owners are renowned for their tight transfer policies and wage structure but with no permanent signing made to improve the midfield this summer and the worst start to a Premier League season under Jurgen Klopp, they must not waste a single expense or resource needed to make sure Bellingham pulls on that famous red shirt at Anfield next season.
Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Thiago Alcantara are all well into their 30s, whilst Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are currently in the last 12 months of their contracts, which leaves the future of Liverpool’s midfield hanging in the balance and solutions must be found over the coming year ahead.
Should LFC pay £131.6m for Bellingham?
Indeed, a £131.6m transfer fee is something never seen at the Merseyside club, but when you consider that the Bundesliga sensation could offer up to and beyond a decade worth of service, every single penny would be well spent.
With that being said, Liverpool must not miss out on their second chance to snap up Bellingham and must be willing to do whatever it takes to complete a deal over their competitors when the time comes, as over 10 years’ worth of keeping close tabs on the talent could go to waste.