LONDON, ENGLAND - Monday, September 26, 2022: England's Jude Bellingham during the UEFA Nations League Group A3 game between England and Germany at Wembley Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

German journalist doubles down on Jude Bellingham link – 4 rivals ruled out

The odds appear to be tipping in Liverpool’s favour in their pursuit of Jude Bellingham, with Jurgen Klopp said to be “pushing for” a deal.

Last summer it was Erling Haaland, and in 2023, it stands to be another Dortmund player at the centre of football’s biggest transfer story.

Every top club in Europe will hold an interest in Bellingham, and at this point in the pursuit, Liverpool are being positioned as favourites.

Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg, who has ties to a number of leading sources including Klopp’s agent Marc Kosicke, has claimed in an update on Twitter that the Reds are “very optimistic” of a deal.

“Klopp is pushing for him and Liverpool want to invest in summer,” he adds, with Bellingham the “main target” and a package expected to be worth at least €100 million (£87.3m).

The midfielder is also said to be “transfer target No. 1” for Man United, though Plettenberg explains that their “chances are low due to competition from Man City and Liverpool and due to financial fair play.”

Along with doubting United’s prospects of a deal, the journalist has also ruled out Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona), NOVEMBER 27, 2019 - Football / Soccer : UEFA Champions League Group F match between FC Barcelona 3-1 Borussia Dortmund at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by D.Nakashima/AFLO)

A report carried by Sky Germany reveals that Dortmund are “now expecting a departure next summer” and that “a new record transfer is in the offing.”

That would suggest that Bellingham could go for a fee higher than that which Barcelona paid Dortmund for Ousmane Dembele in 2017, which stood at £96.8 million rising to a possible £135.5 million.

Jadon Sancho remains the second-biggest sale in Bundesliga history, with United having spent £73 million to sign the winger from Dortmund.

Due to a release clause in his contract, Dortmund only received £51 million for Haaland, though agent and signing-on fees, as well as wages claimed to be up to £865,000 a week inclusive of bonuses, swiftly ruled Liverpool out of the running.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 14, 2022: Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham celebrates after scoring the first goal during the UEFA Champions League Group G game between Manchester City FC and Borussia Dortmund. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The fear would be that, with Man City and Real Madrid likely competitors, the Reds could be priced out of any race for Bellingham, who has no release clause.

Those concerns are magnified given the uncertainty surrounding the club’s owners, though at least publically, Fenway Sports Group insist it is business as usual and transfer activity may not be affected.

Bellingham is said to value sporting matters and the overall project above finances when it comes to choosing his next move, and that may be where Liverpool can gain an advantage.