Following a report claiming that Liverpool are “increasingly unlikely” to sign Jude Bellingham, sources on Merseyside have insisted a deal is still possible.
It was claimed on Monday that, with the club facing a losing battle when it comes to a “bidding war” with Man City and Real Madrid, they could lose the race to sign Bellingham.
The Athletic‘s David Ornstein wrote that there was “significant doubt” over the 19-year-old moving to Anfield, and though “no firm decisions have been made,” both City and Real were in “stronger positions.”
This led to understandable concerns from Liverpool supporters who have been told repeatedly that Bellingham was the club’s No. 1 target and was, effectively, the reason for their lack of reinforcements in midfield of late.
But journalist David Lynch, writing for Football Insider, has brought word from “sources close to the club” that the teenager “remains an active target.”
“The deal is still being worked on,” Lynch reports, noting that Liverpool’s sales pitch to Bellingham himself would be vital.
“There has long been an acceptance at Anfield that Liverpool would be unlikely to come out on top of any bidding war with Real or City for Bellingham should one ensue.
“Yet their pursuit of the Englishman has always been predicated on convincing him that a move to Merseyside would be the best fit for his future prospects.”
Ornstein’s colleague at The Athletic, James Pearce, wrote similar earlier on Tuesday, explaining: “If you get a firm commitment from the player about his destination of choice then that should avoid any bidding war.”
Lynch notes how Liverpool have been working on convincing Bellingham his future lies on Merseyside since long before he even left Birmingham for Dortmund.
In fact, it has been previously reported that the club attempted a £9,000 deal to sign him as a nine-year-old in 2012, following a two-day trial at Kirkby.
Furthermore, it is pointed out that the chance of a leading role in the regeneration of a “gaping midfield,” as well as Bellingham’s closeness to Jordan Henderson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, could be persuasive.
“Should Klopp’s sales pitch land and the player inform Dortmund of his preference for a move to Merseyside,” Lynch concludes, “it would become more difficult to use other clubs’ interest to inflate the fee.”
As ever, there are many moving parts when it comes to a deal of this magnitude – with the Bundesliga leaders aiming for a fee exceeding £126 million – but it is encouraging that Liverpool are refuting Ornstein’s claim.