Liverpool's pursuit of Jude Bellingham hit by Dortmund's price tag

Reds deemed “increasingly unlikely” to sign England international this summer

Liverpool’s pursuit of Jude Bellingham has hit a stumbling block, with the Reds deemed “increasingly unlikely” to sign the Borussia Dortmund midfielder this summer. Despite being one of the frontrunners for the 19-year-old’s signature, Liverpool may be priced out of the market by Dortmund’s exorbitant asking price.

According to The Athletic, the German club is demanding a club-record fee of at least £130m for Bellingham, who is under contract until 2025 with no release clause. The figure would make him the most expensive player in Liverpool’s history, and given the current financial climate, it’s hard to imagine the Reds splashing out such a sum.

Liverpool’s budget is likely to be significantly reduced this summer, particularly if they fail to qualify for the Champions League next season. The club is expected to lose Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on free transfers, while James Milner is also out of contract in three months’ time. Klopp has reportedly urged the club’s hierarchy to offer the 37-year-old a new deal for the 2023-24 season.

Liverpool’s financial constraints have allowed Manchester City and Real Madrid to leapfrog them in the race for Bellingham. The report suggests that the Reds are reluctant to enter a nine-figure bidding war for the England international’s services, leaving the Etihad or the Bernabeu as his most likely destinations.

However, Liverpool has not given up hope of signing Bellingham entirely. Positive preliminary talks have reportedly been held with the midfielder’s father, and Bellingham himself is said to view Anfield as his preferred destination. Klopp is known to be a big admirer of the youngster, who has impressed in his first season and a half in the Bundesliga.

Bellingham has scored 10 goals and provided six assists in 34 appearances for Dortmund this season, taking his career total to 20 goals and 24 assists from 124 games. He has emerged as one of Europe’s most sought-after talents and is expected to play a key role for England at this summer’s European Championship.

If Liverpool were to miss out on Bellingham, they may turn their attention to other targets. The club has been linked with a host of midfielders in recent months, including Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans and Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul.

In conclusion, Liverpool’s hopes of signing Jude Bellingham this summer appear to be diminishing. Dortmund’s asking price is prohibitive, and Liverpool’s budget may be significantly reduced if they fail to qualify for the Champions League. However, the Reds have not given up hope entirely, and Klopp remains a keen admirer of the youngster. It promises to be a fascinating transfer window for Liverpool, who may need to be creative in their pursuit of new recruits.

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