Man Utd and Liverpool could be left frustrated in their pursuit of Jude Bellingham as Borussia Dortmund reportedly have a plan up their sleeve.
The central midfielder has been starring in Germany since his £30million move from Birmingham last year. He made 46 appearances in 2020-21 as BVB won the German Cup and finished third in the Bundesliga.
Bellingham continues to go from strength to strength, having registered three goals and nine assists in 24 matches this term.
The star, still just 18, is also a full England international. He has picked up 10 caps under Gareth Southgate so far.
Bellingham’s exciting form and massive potential has put Man Utd and Liverpool on alert. They want to lure him back to the Premier League in 2022, although it will cost a significant amount.
Dortmund are also preparing to employ a clever tactic as they aim to keep the dynamic midfielder.
Football Insider claim Marco Rose’s side are hoping to tie Bellingham down to a bumper new contract.
They want to give him a huge pay rise and extend his spell at the Westfalenstadion until beyond 2025.
Dortmund want to ‘sweeten the deal’ by signing Bellingham’s younger brother, Jobe, from Birmingham. He is a 16-year-old right winger who looks set to tread the same path.
The German outfit hope this will keep Bellingham around, at least for another few years.
But they will still have to brace themselves for major bids from Man Utd and Liverpool in the summer.
United have long needed a new central midfielder to replace one of Fred or Scott McTominay. Liverpool, meanwhile, could do with a successor to 31-year-old Jordan Henderson.
Pundit weighs in on Man Utd, Liverpool hunt
Former Liverpool star Steve McManaman has previously given his verdict on Bellingham’s future.
“He has got all the attributes to be a superstar,” McManaman said.
“When you look through the teams and the sides that could buy him – Manchester United would need that type of player as a central midfielder. Manchester City, with Rodri, Ilkay Gündogan, Bernardo Silva, not so much.
“Liverpool have got Jordan Henderson, Thiago, Fabinho. Of course it would be a great signing, he’s a great player, but whether Liverpool need him now is another thing.
“Henderson is moving towards the end of his career. James Milner also. So Liverpool could always take another centre midfielder but it’s very congested in there.
“Georginio Wijnaldum left the club in the summer and people said they needed to replace him but they didn’t. But whether people move on and Jurgen [Klopp] brings Jude in is another thing.
“[Man] City could accommodate him but they’ve got a plethora of great players in there and he mightn’t play.
“I think United need a centre midfielder of that (Bellingham’s) ilk. Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata are coming to the end of their careers and Paul Pogba may leave.
“So if there’s one team that needs a player like Jude Bellingham, it’s Manchester United.”
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