Liverpool’s Jude Bellingham view may come back to bite them as Mac Allister eyed
Klopp urges Liverpool to keep pressure on in top four battle
Liverpool could rue leaving the race to sign Jude Bellingham prematurely earlier this season, with Real Madrid now closing in on the signature of the playmaker. The England midfielder is widely regarded as one of the best in the business despite his tender years, though the Reds’ long-term interest was cooled last month.
Jurgen Klopp is desperate to bolster his ranks in the centre of the park over the summer, making it no secret that his lack of quality in that department is a pressing issue. The Reds have lacked a creative spark in midfield throughout the campaign, with ageing stars now appearing to be struggling for form too.
With James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita all set to be released this summer when their contracts expire, Liverpool are plotting an overhaul in that department. It was long thought Bellingham would be the face of their midfield revival.
However, the Reds withdrew from the race for the 19-year-old in April. Part of their thinking will have been their poor form which led many – including the higher powers at Anfield – to believe that Champions League qualification was unlikely.
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Without the money that top-level European football would provide, the club decided to cool their interest in the Borussia Dortmund star in order to use the funds, beyond £100million, to acquire several ‘cheaper’ options. They include Mason Mount and Alexis Mac Allister, who are deemed attainable at a combined cost similar to what it would take to sign Bellingham alone – around £130m.
But Liverpool giving up on Bellingham so early could be a mistake, with the Reds now just one point outside of the top four and both Newcastle and Manchester United faltering before the final hurdle. Both teams have played a game fewer than Liverpool but are far from peak form ahead of the climax of the campaign.
In contrast, Klopp’s team are firmly on the up with seven wins in a row and have finally found a system that has allowed them to dominate games as they used to previously. They face Europa League-pushing Aston Villa at the weekend before travelling to already-relegated Southampton, and six points from six would truly ramp up the pressure on Newcastle and Man United.
Sadly though, it appears too late for Liverpool to reignite their interest in Bellingham even if they were to secure Champions League football. Real Madrid are in pole position to secure his signature after agreeing personal terms with the player.
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