Report: City confident of beating Madrid to Bellingham; Liverpool have doubts
Manchester City are confident about signing Jude Bellingham this summer despite Real Madrid's continued interest in the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, sources told ESPN's Rob Dawson and Rodrigo Faez.
However, Liverpool's chances are diminishing, according to The Athletic's David Ornstein. Though the Reds haven't bowed out of the race to sign the 19-year-old, they're reportedly aware their rivals have the financial means to outspend them and are unwilling to engage in a bidding war.
Bellingham doesn't have a release clause in his contract, which doesn't expire for another two years. Dortmund, who recently took over first place in the Bundesliga, would prefer to keep Bellingham for one more season before cashing in on the player in 2024, Dawson and Faez report.
Madrid could target City's Bernardo Silva in the event they miss out on Bellingham. Silva, who also has two years remaining on his contract with the defending Premier League champions, has been linked with moves away from the Etihad over the last two seasons.
Liverpool's contingency plan is less clear. The Reds have a number of players on expiring contracts, including Roberto Firmino, James Milner, and Naby Keita. They're also in a battle to qualify for the Champions League next season. Missing out on the competition would significantly reduce their transfer budget.
Bellingham has become a key part of Dortmund's midfield, making 55 out of a possible 59 starts since the start of the 2021-22 Bundesliga season. He joined the club from Birmingham City in July 2020 for a reported €25 million.