Liverpool ‘forging relationship’ with Jude Bellingham to advance deal

Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp receives the freedom of the city

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Liverpool are secretly ‘forging a close relationship’ with Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham ahead of the upcoming transfer battle for his signature. The Reds are seemingly in pole position after moving in the background to gain an advantage in the race for one of Europe’s highest-rated talents.

According to ESPN, Liverpool are positioned as the favourites to sign Bellingham despite facing competition from Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid. And their advantage stems from growing closer to the 19-year-old midfielder’s camp ahead of the decision on his future.

The report claims Liverpool are developing a ‘close relationship’ with the superstar’s inner circle, which could ultimately prove significant in the congested chase for his services. It has also been suggested that the framework of a potential deal to bring him to Anfield may already be advancing.

Dortmund reportedly value Bellingham at £131m, a steep rise from the £85m it was previously thought would lure him from the Westfalenstadion. And his jaw-dropping transfer fee, which could only rise if his stock soars during England’s involvement at the World Cup, could provide Liverpool’s rivals with the hope of stealing a march.

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Despite Liverpool’s advantage in the Bellingham frame, both he and his father, Mark, have previously played down rumours that he has already chosen his next club. But working under Jurgen Klopp at Anfield will be an enticing proposition, offering the chance to return to England after leaving Birmingham City for Germany in 2020.

After missing out on Aurelien Tchouameni this summer, Liverpool opted against moving for another marquee target, indicating their willingness to wait for Bellingham. But that decision could bite them in the back, with a failure to qualify for the 2023/24 Champions League potentially proving fatal to their chances financially.

Liverpool have endured a sticky start to the Premier League campaign, losing four of their opening 12 games, including their last two against lowly duo Nottingham Forest and Leeds United. The Reds lie eight points behind fourth-place Newcastle United and already trail leaders Arsenal by 15 points in ninth.

If they aren’t among Europe’s elite next term, not only would it damage their chances of splashing a club-record sum for Bellingham, but it could also make the likes of Man City and Real Madrid more enticing prospects. That said, for now, Liverpool are at the front of the pack and will be confident of securing their man.

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