Jude Bellingham is already causing a fuss ahead of next summer.
The Borussia Dortmund star is expected to leave Germany in search of a “bigger” club as he takes the next step in his career.
Chelsea, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona have been highlighted as interested parties – along with long-term admirers Manchester United.
Dortmund were said to be willing to initiate negotiations if a club was to lodge an opening bid of €100 million, in the hope of raising the final sum to around €150 million. They may have reason to sharply elevate their asking price.
The CIES (International Centre for Sports Studies) has compiled a list of the most expensive footballers to play at the Qatar World Cup 2022. Bellingham’s transfer value tops the list.
The Englishman is marked as being worth €202 million, €1 million more than Real Madrid’s Brazilian winger Vinícius Júnior.
If he is to compliment this suggestion with positive displays at the biggest international stage this month, Dortmund will undoubtedly use it to their advantage.
Indeed, the German giants have not yet resigned themselves to Bellingham’s departure and are keen to offer the young midfielder a new contract, according to The Athletic.
Given Madrid’s heavy interest in Bellingham, Spanish outlet Sport have indicated that if Dortmund raise their asking price to an overwhelming figure, then Florentino Perez will not hesitate in backing out of the move.
“What is clear is that Madrid will not reach the €150 million that Borussia could ask for and much less the €202 million [indicated by CIES].”
Hans-Joachim Watze, CEO of Dortmund, recently stated that the club would have talks with their star midfielder following the World Cup in order to gauge his standpoint.
He went on to say, “We don’t have to pretend that the issue is not on the table. If the really big clubs are involved, then we can’t afford to have a fight financially.”
With Madrid potentially backing out of the extortionate transfer and Liverpool’s owners, FSG, wanting to sell the club, the path could be opening for United to become a viable destination for Bellingham.
United’s director of football, John Murtough, has already stated that the club do not expect to enter the January transfer market. With the extra funds in place, the club could go all out for a high-profile summer pursuit.