Liverpool have their sights on signing Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham in a potential club-record deal next summer, the Star reports.
The Reds had a quiet summer transfer window, and they made just one high-profile signing in defender Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.
The main focus has been on renewing contracts of their main players, and they are currently in negotiations over a new deal with Mohamed Salah.
However, they could prioritise a midfield signing for next season, and Bellingham has now emerged as manager Jurgen Klopp’s priority target.
Bellingham was widely fancied to join Manchester United last year, but he snubbed them to join Borussia Dortmund from Birmingham City.
It has proved an excellent decision for the 18-year-old as he has secured regular game time while establishing himself in the England squad.
United continue to remain admirers of the teenage sensation, but it is reported that they could prioritise a deal for teammate Erling Haaland.
This could pave the way for the Reds to sign Bellingham. The Merseyside giants could be prepared to pay a club-record £80 million fee to land him.
Bellingham has made a solid impact with Dortmund, registering five goals and eight assists from 51 appearances.
He has already established himself as a regular starter, and there are no surprises that he is attracting interest.
The Reds lost an influential midfielder in Georginio Wijnaldum this summer but decided against a replacement.
It was probably a justifiable decision, considering the huge outlay to extend contracts of key players.
Alisson, Fabinho, Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold have penned new deals in recent months.
Bellingham would be a quality recruit for the Reds as he is slowly developing into a box-to-box midfielder.
He is solid with his tackling, while he can also drive forward with impressive dribbling and key passes in the final third.
After a couple of quiet summers, the Reds are surely in line to spend big on a marquee signing.
Bellingham could be the prime target, but their chances of landing him could be hampered by the Red Devils.
Haaland has a £65 million release clause that becomes active next summer. United are fancied to prioritise his signing over Bellingham.
Dortmund were quite clear this summer that they were unlikely to lose Haaland after parting ways with Jadon Sancho.
With Haaland appearing certain to leave next summer, they may block Bellingham’s exit to the Reds.
It appears unlikely that they will accept losing two marquee players in the same transfer window.
Bellingham will have three years left on his contract after this season. Dortmund are in a strong position to keep him.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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