Carlo Ancelotti has handed Liverpool and Manchester United a boost by appearing to rule Real Madrid out of the running for Jude Bellingham.
Bellingham, 19, is one of the hottest properties in European football. The former Birmingham City star has shone for the Bundesliga outfit since joining in the summer of 2020, despite his tender years. His all-action midfield style has seen him compared to Liverpool and England great Steve Gerrard.
The youngster is not prolific in front of goal but has chipped in with 19 from 112 outings in all competitions for BVB.
And, now an England regular, he opened his international account in a 6-2 thrashing of Iran at the World Cup.
The West Midlander has also assisted 13 in the German top flight and five in the Champions League.
He appears to have the footballing world at his feet and it is no surprise that top clubs are keen.
Liverpool have long been linked. And Manchester United have also been mentioned in connection with the starlet.
But the spectre of Real hung over both Premier League clubs, with the lure of the Bernabeu hard to resist for any young player.
And Bellingham has reportedly hinted that the is keen to join Los Blancos next summer.
However, Real manager Ancelotti seems content with those he already has at his disposal, leaving Liverpool and United to battle it out.
“There are a lot of youngsters, like Enzo [Fernandez], and a lot of midfielders who are coming through, some of them Spanish,” he told reporters, per Metro.
“Jude Bellingham is one of them, but I’ll stick with my midfielders, who are very good. Especially the youngsters, like Valverde, Camavinga and Tchouameni.
“We have a lot of young players.”
Liverpool to break bank for Bellingham
Liverpool are the club most strongly linked to the man with 22 Three Lions caps. The Reds have been well below their best this term and currently reside outside the top four.
That is almost unimaginable given their exploits in recent seasons. The Merseysiders sit sixth in the standings.
And, while a title push is beyond them in 2022-2023, finishing in the top four will be seen as essential. Jurgen Klopp’s charges are currently seven points adrift of fourth-placed United.
They have struggled in midfield and are crying out for a player like Bellingham.
Whether or not he arrives next summer only time will tell but they might need to part with £120m to get their man.
Dortmund have a habit of developing young players and selling them on for a huge profit.
Recent examples include Erling Haaland and Jadon Sancho. That latter has yet to find his feet at Old Trafford.
But Haaland is on track to break all scoring records this season since arriving at Manchester City in the summer.
All at Liverpool will hope that Bellingham is able to continue his development if he does join the north-west giants.
There is nothing to stop Real rekindling their efforts to snare the young schemer.
But at least for now, the English duo can look to plot a way of capturing Bellingham in six months time.
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