Liverpool are desperate to sign Jude Bellingham this year, but is the Borussia Dortmund midfielder keen on a move there?
The England international is hot property this season after yet another stellar year in Germany while his stock rose high at the World Cup.
The 19-year-old was one of the star performers at the tournament and it has led to intense speculation over his future at Signal Iduna Park.
Liverpool are long-time admirers of Bellingham, but they aren’t the only interested party.
Some of Europe’s elite have the teenager on their radar including Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.
While Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are also desperate to snap up the former Birmingham star.
However, with Liverpool crying out for someone to energise their midfield, the Reds will do everything they can to persuade him to make the move to Anfield – even including Steven Gerrard plotting an impromptu dinner.
But what has Bellingham said about Liverpool? And is there any chance that they can win the race?
Bayern Munich, Man United or stay at Spurs? Kane’s options ahead of contract expiration
Bellingham may have given transfer hint by hailing Liverpool and Real Madrid stars
‘There’s a motive’ – Gio Reyna keeps his fingers in his ears after another Dortmund winner
What time the January transfer window closes as Premier League clubs look to spend late
Werner sends warning to Leipzig teammate Nkunku ahead of rumoured Chelsea transfer
Dortmund want £100million up front for Bellingham with Liverpool leading race
What Bellingham has said about possible transfer
The midfielder has naturally been guarded over talking about any transfer talk, let alone anything regarding Liverpool, but that did not stop one reporter trying to coax a reaction at the World Cup.
Reds captain Jordan Henderson stood with Bellingham during an interview where he praised him heavily, saying: “I’ve said it many a time. He’s a one-off.
“We need to let him enjoy playing football, he’s only 19.
“He’s been incredible at this tournament but [also] for a long period of time now with Dortmund.
“He’s carried it on into this tournament and hopefully he can just carry on going from strength to strength and being a big player for England.”
The journalist followed it up by asking: “And Liverpool in the future?” in a hopeful bid to garner a reaction – and they got one as Henderson paused, laughed and then walked away.
Bellingham exited with the 32-year-old and could be heard saying: “You’ve ruined it for all of us! You’ve ruined it, man.”
That is hardly a hint over what the England international has in store for the future, but Liverpool fans will appreciate the relationship growing between him and Henderson.
In a separate interview in Qatar, Bellingham lauded Henderson’s leadership qualities following England’s last-16 win over Senegal.
He remarked: “He’s always kind of the loudest player on the pitch, which I love. You always know you’re in a game.
“He doesn’t let you switch off for one second, and I think the best thing about him is he will give you a bit of detail to help you, maybe after you’ve done something negative.
“But he’s the first person if you’ve done something positive to let you know.
“His performance [against Senegal] was incredible. Ran the game, scored a key goal, and it was a pleasure to play with him yet again.”
Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip
Bellingham became the first Dortmund player ever to be named in the FIFA Team of the Year and the club’s in-house media department asked him to select his own XI.
That included players from Liverpool, as well as Real Madrid, but the teenager was full of praise for Van Dijk and Matip where he also admitted he has been watching the Reds closely.
“[Joel] Matip had a really good year actually, I think he was good to watch,” he said.
“But I think [Virgil] Van Dijk, always, man. He’s too good. I’d put him in and I’d probably put Eder Militao in next to him – he won the Champions League.”
However, there was no room for Trent Alexander-Arnold, though he does have a fair reason for that.
He added: “I’m not picking between the English guys, I’m going to go with [Achraf] Hakimi, because I’m not picking between Trent [Alexander-Arnold], Walks [Kyle Walker] and Reece [James].
“Those three are the best three, but I’m not picking between them, so I’ll go for Hakimi because he was amazing at the World Cup and I wont get killed for picking him, you know what I mean?”
Trent Alexander-Arnold autograph signing
Bellingham might be under the spotlight, but that has not stopped him from seeing the funny side of things, especially when one fan tried their luck when getting an autograph.
As the Dortmund star met fans to sign autographs after a training session, one supporter cheekily handed him an Alexander-Arnold book that the midfielder could not help but laugh at.
He signed the book with a smile on his face as a clip of the incident went viral on social media.
Read the full article here