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J. Bellingham

Break the bank for Bellingham! Which club needs to sign England's wonderkid the most?

08:00 GMT 25/11/2022
Jude Bellingham England 2022
The 19-year-old has already shone at the World Cup, with there set to be a huge bidding war this summer to lure him away from Borussia Dortmund

When England needed someone to break Iran’s stubborn resistance on Monday, it was Jude Bellingham who popped up with the crucial moment of magic.

That it was the 19-year-old who opened the floodgates in the 6-2 victory should not have come as a surprise to anyone, given the incredible heights he has already hit in his short career with Borussia Dortmund.

But the goal, along with his superb performance, was just another reminder of the incredible quality and potential that the former Birmingham City starlet possesses.

Bellingham will be out to replicate his heroics on Friday when England meet the United States in their second group-stage game, looking to make it two wins from two in Qatar.

Clubs from across Europe will once again have their focus aimed directly on the teenager as they prepare for what is expected to be a fierce transfer battle for the midfielder this summer.

And GOAL has taken a look at which clubs could be in the running for Bellingham at the end of the season, and where he could potentially make the biggest impact...

  • Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2022-23

    Liverpool

    It seems like Bellingham has been linked with a transfer to Liverpool ever since he first made his move to Dortmund from Birmingham.

    The Reds are big admirers of the midfielder, and with both Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcantara the wrong side of 30, there is a clear spot in the starting XI waiting for him at Anfield.

    Jurgen Klopp rarely strays far from his tried and trusted 4-3-3 formation, and while there is a huge emphasis on physicality and tactical discipline, we've seen with Thiago (and to a lesser extent Harvey Elliott) a bit of a shift towards looking at a more technical, creative midfield. 

    So someone like Bellingham would be perfect in that regard as Klopp looks to reshape what is an ageing area of his team.

    The big question mark over Bellingham and Liverpool is whether the Reds would have the financial ability to compete against other top clubs for the England star.

    Would they potentially spend over £100 million on a single player at a time when owners FSG are exploring ways of selling the club? It just feels doubtful, especially if they fail to secure qualification to the Champions League next season.

    It’s something you could never rule out, however, as the Reds have shown in the past they will spend big to sign a player they believe will really make a difference, with the capture of Virgil van Dijk a clear example of that.

  • Ilkay Gundogan Jude Bellingham Manchester City Borussia Dortmund

    Manchester City 

    City certainly wouldn’t have any issue meeting Dortmund’s financial demands when it comes to Bellingham, and having signed Erling Haaland and Manuel Akanji from the Bundesliga outfit last summer, the two clubs have a decent relationship.

    Pep Guardiola has not hidden his admiration for Bellingham in the past, having hailed him as the "whole package" earlier in the season after City met Dortmund in the Champions League.

    And so the Premier League champions have to be considered one of the front runners when it comes to potentially signing the England star, especially when you look at their current midfield.

    Bernardo Silva continues to be a star for City, but he has been open to joining Barcelona for the past couple of seasons. If the Catalan giants finally pay up this summer, then Bellingham would be the ideal replacement. 

    City will also have to start pondering the unthinkable soon and start looking for a long-term Kevin De Bruyne successor, who will be 32 by the start of next season.

    So when you put all that together, Bellingham and City feels like a good fit.

  • Erik ten Hag Man Utd 2022-23

    Manchester United

    United are rebuilding and they certainly need a new poster boy after ditching Cristiano Ronaldo.

    Whatever happens at Old Trafford and the potential sale of the club in the near future, you know United will be able to compete financially, such is their immense commercial firepower.

    But whether Bellingham would want to move to a club that is just starting a rebuild is unclear.

    This next move for the midfielder feels like a big one. He will have his pick of the top clubs in the world, so it feels unlikely he would opt for a team who might not be ready to compete for the biggest trophies.

    But United can never be ruled out due to their vast resources, and for all the upheaval they have gone through in recent years, they are still a huge club that can sway a player’s thinking.

    There is also an obvious opening for Bellingham in United’s midfield, which has been an area where improvements have been needed for some time now.

    United are known admirers for Bellingham and it feels certain that they will be in the running for him if he does become available. It just feels, however, they will be behind some of their rivals in the race.

  • N'Golo Kante

    Chelsea 

    There were question marks over whether Chelsea would be able to maintain their spending power following Todd Boehly’s American led takeover earlier in the year, but those were quickly put to bed when the Blues splashed out more than £270 million during a record-breaking summer transfer window.

    They have shown, then, that they are still a force to be reckoned with in the market and they do hold an interest in Bellingham.

    And with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante’s contracts due to expire at the end of the season and Denis Zakaria expected to return to Juventus following his loan spell at Stamford Bridge, midfield reinforcements will be needed.

    Chelsea are at the start of another rebuild under Graham Potter and there is a clear need to freshen up an ageing squad with some top young talent, especially in the centre of the pitch.

    So Bellingham would be perfect for them, and given the way the west London club operated in the summer market, you would expect they will push very hard to try and win the race for the England star.

  • Modric celebrates vs Celtic

    Real Madrid

    If a top player is up for grabs, Real Madrid will be in the mix. And with Luka Modric now 37, there is a need to find a long-term replacement for the Croatian superstar.

    Madrid have spent the past few years snapping up some of the game’s top young talent, with Aurelien Tchouameni joining from Monaco last summer and Eduardo Camavinga arriving from Rennes a year earlier.

    The prospect of Bellingham joining those two at the Bernabeu at the end of the season is a frightening one, and Madrid are known to be hopeful of turning that dream into a reality.

    Given Tchouameni and Camavinga are already there and Federico Valverde is playing the best football of his career, some may question whether Madrid really need Bellingham.

    But Europe’s most successful club are always looking to land the best players and it would be no surprise to see them do all they can to see off all of their rivals in the battle for the 19-year-old.

  • Warren Zaire-Emery PSG 2021-22

    Paris Saint-Germain

    The French champions obviously have the financial ability to go for Bellingham, but a move to Paris does not feel likely.

    PSG like to operate in a system with two central midfielders and they already have Marco Verratti (who is expected to extend his contract), Danilo Pereira, Vitinha, Fabian Ruiz, Renato Sanches and Carlos Soler who can play in a central role. 

    The Parisians also have youngsters Ayman Kari and Warren Zaire-Emery coming through who they have high hopes for.

    Zaire-Emery, who is just 16, is already around the first-team and PSG have big plans for him, so the addition of someone like Bellingham would be extremely problematic for his progression.

  • Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2022-23

    Arsenal

    It has to be said that the prospect of Arsenal being able to land Bellingham is an unlikely one.

    He fits the bill perfectly when it comes to the profile of player that the Gunners now target under the watch of Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu, given his age and technical ability.

    And with Granit Xhaka now into his 30s, Bellingham would be the ideal long-term replacement for the Switzerland captain to play in one of the No.8 roles that Arteta likes to operate with in his 4-3-3 system.

    So in that regard, Bellingham would be the perfect signing and there is a clear need for him at the Emirates Stadium. Landing the young England star would also be a huge statement for Arsenal, and would be another sign that they are now ready to reclaim their spot amongst Europe’s elite clubs.

    There is no doubt they would be interested, but the finances that would be involved, however, make any deal feel very unlikely.

    They could cover the wages, especially if they do go on to secure Champions League football, but entering into a bidding war against some of Europe’s biggest spenders is not something that Arsenal are really capable of.

    Their record transfer fee is still the £72 million they spent to sign Nicolas Pepe from Nice, and it will take much, much more than that to see off the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and potentially Real Madrid for Bellingham.

  • Jude Bellingham Liverpool

    The conclusion

    Bellingham is such a talent that he will fit into any club that he joins, should Borussia Dortmund decide to sell in the summer.

    He would help transform any midfield and it’s difficult to look at any of the clubs who will be in the running for him and say that his arrival wouldn’t improve them drastically.

    Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and United all have space for Bellingham, and Florentino Perez would like nothing more than to add England's rising star to the youthful squad he is building at Madrid.

    But when you consider who really needs him the most, you look at Liverpool and think he could be a monumental signing for a side who desperately need to overhaul their midfield.

    After going toe to toe with City for so long, Jurgen Klopp’s team look like they need a bit of a revamp, and the arrival of a player like Bellingham could be just the thing to get them going again.

    He fits the bill perfectly when it comes to the type of player Klopp likes and there is a clear space for him in the starting XI that is waiting to be filled.

    Bellingham feels like the game-changer Liverpool really need to get them firing once again.