Jude Bellingham: David Ornstein drops Liverpool bombshell with two clubs to make Klopp nightmare a reality
David Ornstein revealed it’s ‘increasingly unlikely’ Liverpool will sign Jude Bellingham, with the England international now on course to join one of two clubs who’ve tormented Jurgen Klopp.
Bellingham, 19, is Liverpool’s undistputed number one transfer target for the summer. A raft of midfield additions are required with Arthur Melo, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all departing. James Milner could bring the midfield exits to four if the Reds vice-captain isn’t offered a new deal.
As such, the weakest area in Liverpool’s squad is due to see its numbers decimated and Klopp and Virgil van Dijk have both called for big business.
Despite boasting a valuation well in excess of £100m, Liverpool have courted Bellingham for nearly a year.
Man City and Real Madrid are understood to be their primary competition, though the Reds had laid the most groundwork behind the scenes.
However, according to bombshell update from the Athletic’s David Ornstein, Liverpool’s efforts will not prove enough.
Ornstein reported it’s ‘increasingly unlikely’ Bellingham moves to Anfield this summer, with Man City and Real Madrid both in ‘stronger positions’ right now.
Bellingham joining either of those clubs would be a bitter pill to swallow for Klopp.
Indeed, Liverpool have finished runners-up to City in the Premier League twice in Klopp’s tenure on Merseyside. Real, meanwhile, have knocked Klopp’s side out of the Champions League three times in the last five years.
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Why are Liverpool hopes fading?
Explaining why Liverpool are no longer favoured, Ornstein hinted their current dismal campaign is playing a major role.
The trusted journalist added with Champions League qualification unlikely, an ageing squad requiring investment in other positions, and no silverware this season other than the Community Shield, Liverpool’s summer budget will be greatly impacted.
Ornstein stressed Bellingham’s ‘anticipated fee, the financial power of rival suitors and [Liverpool’s] reticence about entering a bidding war’ has now put the ball in City and Real’s court.
The reporter stated Liverpool’s chase is not officially at its end and no firm decisions have been made one way or the other.
However, as things stand, the chances of Bellingham winding up at Anfield this summer are slim and decreasing by the week.
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Who else could Liverpool sign?
Missing out on Bellingham will be a devastating blow to Klopp and Liverpool. However, the Reds are understood to be monitoring a plethora of other viable targets.
Inter Milan’s Nicolo Barella has been heavily scouted since the turn of the year. Inter’s need to generate around €60m through player sales in the first month of the window could work in Liverpool’s favour.
Chelsea’s Mason Mount is a known Reds target and the Telegraph recently reported talks over a contract extension with the Blues is at a ‘stalemate’.
The Mail subsequently claimed Mount has appointed a new agent with a view to forcing his way out of Stamford Bridge.
Elsewhere, the Sun put Liverpool on the trail of Portuguese trio Joao Palhinha, Ruben Neves and Matheus Nunes.
Bayern Munich’s Ryan Gravenberch is another potential option.
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