DOHA, QATAR - Friday, November 25, 2022: England's Jude Bellingham during the national anthem before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group B match between England and USA at the Al Bayt Stadium. The game ended in a goal-less draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jude Bellingham transfer latest: LFC ‘favourites’, Ward talks & £150m package

Liverpool are seen as “favourites” to sign Jude Bellingham ahead of Man City and Real Madrid, with talks already held with sporting director Julian Ward.

Tuesday evening brought further update from Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg over the pursuit of Bellingham ahead of the summer transfer window.

The German journalist explained his belief that there is “no chance Dortmund can keep him at this stage,” with Liverpool “favourites” after Jurgen Klopp made him his “No. 1 transfer target.”

Sky Sports’ chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol also described Liverpool as Bellingham’s “most likely destination”:

It was again denied that Klopp had already spoken with the 19-year-old, though Plettenberg explained that “conversations have been held with people like Julian Ward.”

“Now they just have to work out who is paying the money,” he concluded.

That final line is, of course, crucial, particularly when it comes to Liverpool, who are in danger of missing out on a place in next season’s Champions League.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 14, 2022: Manchester City's match-winning goal-scorer Erling Haaland (L) embraces former team-mate Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham after the UEFA Champions League Group G game between Manchester City FC and Borussia Dortmund. Manchester City won 2-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Currently ninth in the Premier League and facing Real in the last 16 of this season’s tournament, it will be an uphill battle in the second half of the campaign.

Not only would failing to qualify be a blow in terms of convincing players of the calibre of Bellingham to join, but it would almost certainly reduce the funds available to Klopp.

GOAL‘s Neil Jones has re-emphasised that the England midfielder is Liverpool’s “No. 1 summer target,” adding that those within the club “love him.”

In a report on Wednesday morning, Jones claimed the Reds will “pull out all the stops” to secure a deal for Bellingham, though Real and Man City are also mentioned as strong suitors.

“There has, for now, been little from Bellingham or his camp to suggest a decision has been made,” he insisted, though Liverpool “feel they have a good chance of landing him.”

“There have been no attempts, on or off the record, to play down the club’s interest,” Jones explains

DOHA, QATAR - Sunday, December 4, 2022: England's Jude Bellingham (L) and Jordan Henderson line-up before the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between England and Senegal at the Al Bayt Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“And while links with other potential targets – Matheus Nunes, Teun Koopmeiners, Moises Caicedo – have emerged of late, the message has been consistent: Bellingham is the one the Reds really want.”

However, it is pointed out that any deal for the teenager would likely reach the £150 million mark when considering the transfer fee and payouts to agents.

Any concerns among supporters could be heightened with Jones rightly noting how uncertainty surrounding the club’s position, including Ward himself and owners Fenway Sports Group, could make things more difficult.

But the suggestion is that Liverpool are in no way out of the race, and if Plettenberg is to be believed, they could in fact still be front-runners.