Chelsea have been dealt a huge blow in the race to sign Jude Bellingham. The 19-year-old has been heavily linked with an exit from Borussia Dortmund for some time now as he continues to impress for club and country.
Bellingham, who sees his contract at the Signal Iduna Park expire in 2025, has been subject to long-term interest from the Blues, football.london understands. The west Londoners watched the midfielder during his time as an academy player at Birmingham City but, after failing to act on their interest, the German giants swooped in and signed the teenage sensation instead.
Now, Graham Potter is said to be in the market for a new midfielder amid the uncertain futures of N’Golo Kante and Jorginho, with their deals set to expire in the summer. Bellingham has emerged as a potential candidate to replace the duo but Chelsea look set to face tough competition from some of Europe’s biggest clubs – one of whom is said to be Liverpool.
According to Sky Sports, the England international’s father is in contact with the Reds. The report states that Jurgen Klopp is eager to wrap up a deal, with Dortmund said to not stand in Bellingham’s way should he seek an exit.
As quoted by ESPN, the German outfit’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted the club cannot rival the financial packages being offered to Bellingham.
“We will hold talks now, as soon as [the World Cup in] Qatar is over, and then we’ll have a fundamental talk about what he would like,” he said, in November. “He just needs to tell us if he’d like to stay or if he’d like to go.
“In both cases, we’ll talk about it very pleasantly and reasonably together. In general, we can imagine that he’d stay with us, but we can’t behave as if this topic wasn’t on the table. If he says ‘I’d like to do something else,’ then the really big [clubs] in Europe will be there and we can’t afford to fight financially.”
It remains to be seen whether Bellingham will seek an exit from Dortmund, though Liverpool’s fresh round of talks suggests where the youngster’s future may lie. Chelsea were close to welcoming Benfica star Enzo Fernandez to the club earlier this month and Todd Boehly is yet to launch a move for another midfielder.
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