Jude Bellingham ‘100% first choice’ transfer target for Liverpool - but they can’t afford him

The midfielder’s price tag seems to increase with every game he plays.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham has been described as the ‘perfect’ signing for Liverpool but with every passing day the England star seems to be moving further out of reach of the Anfield club.

Heading into the 2022 World Cup, the 19-year-old starlet had a long list of suitors - including Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich - and his goalscoring performance in England’s 6-2 win over Iran in the Group B opener in Qatar has seen both his global profile and price tag increase.

Midfield is certainly an area that Liverpool need to strengthen. There was strong clamour the Reds should have recruited in the middle of the park last summer. Manager Jurgen Klopp eventually agreed but by that time it was too late. Liverpool had to settle with Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus. He’s now injured long-term.

An influential, box-to-box player like Bellingham would improve Klopp’s side, no doubt. He has scored nine goals in all competitions for Dortmund this season and would add a much needed threat from the centre of the park.

Former Reds striker Emile Heskey believes the youngster is ‘100% the first choice’ for Liverpool.

“I think Liverpool could do with freshening up the midfield with a bit more energy,” Heskey said. “Jude Bellingham is 100% the first choice in my eyes. He can play in every single position in midfield. So someone like that would be ideal because that energy he would bring is exactly what Liverpool have been missing at times this season. That’s what we actually need.”

Heskey told Safe Betting Sites: “Don’t get me wrong, Harvey Elliott has done really well and Henderson is a great captain and great leader but he’s getting to the latter stage of his career now. He’s not got the legs he used to have when he was 22 or 23 so he probably is someone that Klopp might be looking to phase out in the next couple of years.”

Against Iran, Bellingham completed 100% of his dribbles, made 92 passes (and 97% completion rate), won all three of his tackes and six ground duels. It was a complete performance that would leave Liverpool fans drooling. But there is a problem.

Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring for England against Iran at the World Cup in Qatar. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

According to The Telegraph, Bellingham is valued at more than £100 million and already looks beyond Liverpool’s means. That is unless a new investor is found by owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG), who have confirmed they are looking for one, or another star player is sold.

Liverpool could only buy Darwin Nunez and afford Mohamed Salah’s new contract because they allowed fans’ favourite Sadio Mane to move to Bayern Munich. There is no obvious candidate for Liverpool to offload for a substantial fee this time to fund a Bellingham bid.

With every England game set to add a further chunk onto the Englishman’s price-tag, it may be time for Liverpool to look elsewhere.