By Harry Dawson
Liverpool FC’s pursuit of Jude Bellingham seems to have fallen short as advanced talks with Real Madrid continue. It is no secret that Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of the Englishman, who formerly played for Birmingham City before Joining Borussia Dortmund in July 2020. He has gone on to play for the national team, earning 24 caps including appearances in the FIFA World Cup due to exceptional performances in the Bundesliga.
It is believed that Liverpool want Bellingham to continue with Dortmund for one more year, as an £80million release clause would be activated, making the 19-year-old much less strenuous a purchase than the current €120million price set by the German side, but this seems ambitious at present. There is no doubt that ‘The Reds’ will look to re-enforce their midfield for next season, with injuries to Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain plaguing the side in one of the worst Klopp performances seen to date. Many fans saw Jude as the answer to their prayers, until April 11th when Sky Sports reported they would pull out of the race due to financial incapability.
Where does this leave Liverpool in the summer window? Klopp and Liverpool’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, are very careful with what information they expose to the public, however there is some weight in reported interest in Chelsea’s wonder boy Mason Mount, as well as Brighton’s stand-out talent Alex Mac Allister. These two names seem to be the ones most likely to join the project in Merseyside, with trusty transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming there is “progress in negotiations” with the latter. It is thought Mac Allister is keen on the move, with the Argentine international looking to progress his career.
Another name lurking in the transfer rumour list is fellow Bundesliga centre Ryan Gravenberch, who has suffered an unsuccessful campaign at Bayern Munich since signing from Ajax just a year prior. The Dutch international just hasn’t had the opportunity to shine in an already stacked Bayern squad, making only 20 appearances in all competitions. An advanced playmaker with a gift of cutting through the defensive line could be exactly what Klopp’s side need, yet the price-tag may not align with a tight FSG budget. As a 20-year-old prodigy, Bayern may look for upwards of £80million to release the youngster from their roster.
Sporting Lisbon’s youngster Manuel Ugarte has been another name mentioned by pundits and journalists, with the 22-year-old Uruguayan impressing in the Liga NOS. Liverpool have a history of scouting the Portuguese league and have brought in Darwin Nunez from Benfica as well as Luis Diaz from Porto only very recently. Ugarte is a very similar style player to Bellingham, as a very progressive, forward-thinking footballer. This would benefit the current Alexander-Arnold transition into central midfield from right-back, where he has been exposed for his insufficient defensive efforts. Regardless of names, Jurgen and Liverpool need to be extremely careful of budget, with Fenway Sports Group still reluctant to splash the cash.