Clubs need £20m to complete transfer of academy product as Birmingham City wait

Clubs have been told that they must spend up to £20m if they want Sunderland to consider selling midfielder and Birmingham City academy product Jobe Bellingham this summer. Bellingham left Blues last summer for the Stadium of Light, where he now works under his former academy manager and current Mackems sporting director Kristjaan Speakman.

Sunderland have just appointed Regis Le Bris, formerly of Lorient in France, but they're having to ward off interest from elsewhere in Bellingham after just a single season of the youngster being on Wearside. Bellingham, 18, played 47 matches and scored seven goals for Sunderland last year under interim coach and ex-Blues employee Mike Dodds.

Jobe became Blues' second youngest ever player, behind brother Jude, when he made his debut in a defeat to Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup, under Lee Bowyer in January 2022. In all, the playmaker, who has represented England in five separate age groups, made 26 appearances for his boyhood club, the vast majority of them coming in his final season at the club under John Eustace.

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Bellingham has admirers in the Premier League, however, namely Crystal Palace who are set to be armed with a decent sum of money from the impending sale of Michael Olise to Bayern Munich. Sunderland, reports the Guardian, will hold firm and insist that Bellingham won't be leaving the North East unless their sizeable valuation of the teenager is met - that valuation being north of £20m.

Sunderland only signed Bellingham from Blues for around £3m last summer and he signed a long-term contract. It's understood Blues have a sell-on clause inserted in the deal which took Bellingham to Sunderland - the Daily Mail claims that that figure is at 15%.

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