Why claims Jude Bellingham is “expected to join” Liverpool can be ignored for now

Amid uncertainty over Naby Keita‘s position at Liverpool it is claimed that Jude Bellingham is “expected to join” next summer, but this should be ignored for now.

The balance of Liverpool’s late transfer window may be disrupted following claims from Germany that Keita is “unhappy” and could move on.

Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg wrote on Wednesday evening that this would be regardless of the situation surrounding Thiago and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who are both long-term absentees.

If Keita – who is subject of interest from RB Leipzig – does depart, that could leave Jurgen Klopp with only six fit midfield options for three spots, with one of those, Fabio Carvalho, currently considered a forward.

There is a strong chance that Liverpool would seek a replacement if their No. 8 does depart, though reports on Merseyside insist that those within the club are not aware of any desire to leave at this stage.

GOAL‘s Neil Jones and the Liverpool Echo‘s Ian Doyle were among those to be briefed by Liverpool sources on their position soon after Plettenberg’s report.

And in a follow-up by the Mail, it was explained the Reds “are willing to risk losing [Keita] for free next summer but still hope to reach a solution over new terms.”

The line that has made countless headlines since, however, was that “Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham is expected to join next summer.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, November 12, 2021: England's substitute Jude Bellingham after during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Qualifying Group I match between England and Albania at Wembley Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

But while that may excite supporters craving for a long-term solution to Liverpool’s midfield issues – with three of the regular starters already over the age of 30 – these claims should be given little credibility.

Typically, reports from the Mail‘s Simon Jones will simply repackage information from elsewhere – without citing the original source – and more often than not hours later than it was originally published.

This was the case on Wednesday evening, with the Mail‘s line coming a full five hours on from the Liverpool Echo‘s report and three hours after corroboration from GOAL.

Suggestions that Keita could leave Liverpool will undoubtedly spark speculation over a move for Bellingham, as it has been widely reported by a variety of credible sources that there is concrete interest in the 19-year-old.

But there is no expectation that a deal will be agreed with Dortmund, even next summer, with every major club across Europe monitoring his situation.

He may well join, of course, and there could well be hopes that a late agreement could be made before September 1, but to effectively claim that a move is almost certain would be absurd.