Newcastle United are reportedly joining the race to sign Liverpool target Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund in the summer. The 19-year-old has quickly emerged as one of Europe's most sought-after teenagers.
Sport BILD reports that the Magpies are weighing up a potential pursuit of Bellingham, who's expected to leave Dortmund at the end of the season. Liverpool are among the frontrunners to sign the English midfielder.
He has enjoyed a remarkable season for both club and country, scoring ten goals and providing four assists in 24 games across competitions for BvB. Bellingham also had a memorable 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign with England in Qatar. He scored the Three Lions' goal of the tournament and solidified himself as a first-team regular.
Bellingham is wanted by Liverpool, Manchester City PSG and Real Madrid. He could come at a hefty price of €150 million (£130 million). That would break the British transfer record set by Chelsea this month when they signed Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for £106.8 million.
The Magpies have embarked on a revolution since the Saudi Public Investment Fund-led takeover of the club in October 2021. They have snapped up top talent from Europe, including Alexander Isak and Bruno Guimaraes.
Eddie Howe's side are fighting for UEFA Champions League qualification, sitting third in the league and boasting a ten-point lead over ninth-placed Liverpool. Bellingham may be enticed to join a club competing in Europe's elite club competition. He became the youngest captain to score in a UEFA Champions League game when he netted in the 4-1 win over Sevilla earlier this season.
Jurgen Klopp's side have been eager to lure him to Anfield and kickstart a revolution. The Reds are reported to have put aside £200-250 million for a summer transfer war chest, and Bellingham is atop their wishlist. However, Newcastle are the latest club set to rival the Reds' pursuit of the English talent.
Liverpool's lackluster January transfer window raises doubts over their top-four credentials
Liverpool signed one player this month, bringing in Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven for £37 million. Fans were delighted on the Dutch attacker's arrival, as he had a proven resume of goal contributions at the Phillips Arena. This season, he has managed 13 goals and 17 assists in 24 games for PSV.
However, the 23-year-old is yet to truly get going at Anfield, putting in some questionable performances. He needs time to adapt, as is the case with Darwin Nunez. The Uruguayan striker arrived from Benfica last summer for a club-record £85 million (including add-ons) deal. Nunez has netted ten goals in 25 games but has spurned several goalscoring opportunities, especially recently.
The main issues for Klopp this campaign have revolved around his midfield. Jordan Henderson and James Milner are in their 30s and look to have lost that extra yard of pace. Meanwhile, Fabinho's form has nosedived, while Thiago Alcantara and Naby Keita have been injured.
That has left Klopp sparse in midfield options heading into the second half of the season with their top-four hopes at risk. A midfield arrival should have happened in January.