Friday, March 24, 2023

The other Real Madrid-Liverpool: a fierce fight to sign Bellingham

If you ask at Real Madrid, the answer, timid and without names and surnames that enable the quotation marks, is that, in effect, Juni Calafat, the white ‘headhunter’, has recently made a trip to Germany. Without more detail. In the market, on the other hand, there is no hesitation. “Real Madrid have already spoken with Borussia Dortmund about Jude Bellingham. And also with the boy’s father. They are not going to recognize him out of prudence, but things look good for your interests“, slides an international agent of soccer players, with good connections in the Bundesliga.

The name of the young English midfielder has long been underlined in red on Real Madrid’s wish list for next season. Calafat, head of scouts for the white club, a figure on the rise after his successful bets for Valverde, Vinicius, Rodrygo and Camavinga, is in charge of an operation aimed at completing the renewal operation of the white midfield. But Liverpool, the same club that this Tuesday aspires to give the bell and eliminate him from the Champions League at the Bernabéu, is not willing to give up one of the most coveted pieces on the current world market.

more than 100 million

It is the other Real Madrid-Liverpool, one that will not last 90 minutes (or 120) like this Tuesday, but several months. In fact, it has been in dispute for a long time and at the moment few dare to concede a key winner for a nine-figure battle, since the market takes it for granted that the operation will rise above 100 million euros. Quite above, even, with tickets approaching 150.

I don’t like to talk about money when you talk about a player like him. Everyone can see that he is simply exceptional”, Jürgen Klopp assured after Dortmund’s elimination and how this could influence his price or output. The German coach is an important decision factor, which is why he never pays good attention to him midfielder.

“If you mention someone who has no idea about football: ‘How old do you think Bellingham is?’ Nobody will come close. They would say 28 or 29, because he plays with a lot of maturity. He had an exceptional World Cup. The things in which he can improving are easy to learn. So, why talk about money? Let’s not put obstacles to their development”, added Klopp from the trench in which Liverpool fight to qualify for the Champions League after a difficult season in the Premier.

A 19-year-old box-to-box

Ancelotti has been more concise when asked. “Bellingham is a great midfielder, but I’ll stick with mine, we have very good ones. Especially the youngsters, like Valverde, Camavinga or Tchouaméni,” he responded at the beginning of the year, when the memory of the World Cup was fresher. The Italian valued the vertebrae of a dorsal spine, where Bellingham would have a fundamental role if one takes into account the exit ramp where Kroos and Modric are.

The dosage of minutes of the eternal couple does not convince or work. The future of both is up in the air and contract ends in summer. Saudi Arabia has already tempted the Croatian to become another of the stars of his local league. Unlike other past signings, Bellingham has already had a leading role, both in Dortmund and in England in a World Cup.

“He plays as if he were a veteran. It is a very difficult profile to find. A ‘box-to-box’ that mixes the elegance of a five with the impetus of an eight”, Vinny Samways defined him for this newspaper during the appointment of Qatar. That versatility is what makes it easy for him to fit in, even in a dressing room with overbooked midfielders like Liverpool’s. Although reform is expected at Anfield.

Midfield reform at Anfield

The purchase option on Arthur Melo will not run. A priori, The contracts of Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be renewed. the veteran James Milner, 37, is also likely to come out. To this we must add that the level of Fabinho and hendersondespite recent performances such as the 7-0 defeat of Manchester United, is not what it was.

Bellingham has a contract until 2025 with Dortmund, whose elimination in the Champions League round of 16 has generated “a serious problem” with the English midfielder, according to the German press. “He is a world-class talent, he has to know what he is doing,” said Emre Can, a Borussia teammate, making public the noise surrounding Bellingham, whose fate -of which Chelsea or Manchester United also want to be a part- It is played tonight at the Bernabéu.


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