liverpool (opens in a new tab) may well have received a big boost in the race to sign Jude Bellingham, after Bayern Munich (opens in a new tab) have ruled themselves out of a move to Borussia Dortmund (opens in a new tab)and England (opens in a new tab) star.
The Reds continue to be linked with the 19-year-old midfielder, who is also believed to be of interest to Chelsea (opens in a new tab) and Real Madrid (opens in a new tab).
But Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn has dismissed any suggestion Bellingham would follow Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze in joining arch-rivals Dortmund.
Speaking to a German newspaper ImageKhan said (opens in a new tab): “Of course, Jude Bellingham, for me, is an exceptional player. However, with [Joshua] Kimmitch, [Leon] Goretska, [Marcel] Sabitzer and [Ryan] Gravenberch, we are very well equipped for this position. So we don’t think about that at all.”
Bellingham could captain Dortmund against Bayern on Saturday The Klassiker. With Marco Reus and Mats Hummels both out injured, he wore the armband as BVB lost 3-2 at Cologne last time out, become the club’s youngest skipper (opens in a new tab).
Bellingham signed for Dortmund from boyhood club Birmingham City in July 2020 aged 17, in a deal potentially worth over £30million (opens in a new tab). The Blacks and Yellows are said to value him at £130million, although it has been reported (opens in a new tab) that they could let him go for as little as £83million if paid up front.
Even an £83m fee would make Bellingham Dortmund’s second biggest sale ever, after Ousmane Dembele – who joined Barcelona (opens in a new tab) for a first £96.8m (opens in a new tab) in 2017.
Given his career trajectory, it seems inevitable that Bellingham – whose contract at Dortmund runs until the end of the 2024/25 season – will be on the move next summer.
Like his former team-mates Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland, he has established himself as one of Europe’s finest young players at a club with a proven track record of developing the continent’s most prodigious talents.
And if he can inspire England to World Cup glory in Qatar this winter, his stock will only become even more stratospheric.
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While Bayern won’t challenge Liverpool for the signing of Jude Bellingham, they may have to fend off advances from the Reds themselves: Jamal Musiala has been linked with a move to Anfield (opens in a new tab). Meanwhile, the Reds have reportedly made Inter Milan and Croatian Marcelo Brozovic prime targets.
Liverpool have also been linked with a rising Ligue 1 striker dubbed ‘the Ghanian Mane’ (opens in a new tab) in recent days, and could battle with Chelsea for the signing of one of MLS’s most exciting talents (opens in a new tab).
Elsewhere, former Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez could be on his way back to the Premier League: the Spaniard has been touted to potentially replace Steve Cooper at Nottingham Forest (opens in a new tab)(opens in a new tab).