Liverpool 'leading Jude Bellingham race' as Man Utd ready to accept defeat on midfielder

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Liverpool lost Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain over the summer, and remain in need of a replacement, with Jurgen Klopp having put Jude Bellingham high on his wishlist for next summer. According to reports the Reds are currently leading the race for the player and could beat Manchester United to his signature.

The Reds lost their Dutch star to the French capital after refusing to meet his wage demands and that meant that Wijnaldum was ready to move on after five fruitful years on Merseyside.

With only defender Ibrahima Konate joining over the summer, Liverpool are now short of a midfielder of Wijnaldum’s class.

It was thought that Harvey Elliott would fit into his role, which he initially did – but the youngster suffered a freak injury early on in the season which will rule him out until at least after the January transfer window.

With James Milner out of contract at the end of the season, there will be another void in the Liverpool engine room which needs filling.

And Dortmund midfielder Bellingham could be the man to seamlessly fit into former-BVB boss Jurgen Klopp’s side.

The Daily Star say the Merseyside outfit are front of the queue for the impressive teenager.

It would take a club-record fee of £80million for Liverpool to secure his signature, having only joined Dortmund just over a year ago for £25m.

Having already played 55 games for Dortmund at the age of just 18 years and three months, Bellingham is well above his years as one of football’s biggest stars.

It would surpass the club-record £75m fee paid for Virgil van Dijk three years ago, which in itself was an inspired signing.

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However, Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke recently suggested Dortmund have no desire to part ways with the England international.

“Bellingham and Reyna will certainly stay here for a long time,” Watzke told German outlet ZDF.

“We have many young players with us who have a lot of potential. We’re currently forming an important axis.

“I don’t know whether this is the best squad we’ve had, but it’s the most ambitious. We have a great mix of both experienced and young talented players.”

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Rivals Manchester United were reportedly interested in the Birmingham-born prodigy too.

But the Star say their focus is now on Leeds midfielder Kalvin Phillips after abandoning interest in Declan Rice and that means Liverpool can take the driving seat in the race for Bellingham.

Rice was reportedly set to cost United £90m if they wanted to sign him, but United chief Ed Woodward was concerned about the price tag.



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