The medium-term future of in-demand England international midfielder Jude Bellingham remains up in the air. The 19-year-old has been a big hit with Bundesliga giants Dortmund, whom he has featured for since the 2020/21 campaign. The £25m signing from boyhood club Birmingham City has established himself as a world-class box-to-box midfielder and the vultures are already circling around Signal Iduna Park.
An exclusive report from TEAMtalk states that Dortmund are considering making Bellingham their highest-paid player in history to prevent him from leaving Die Borussen in the close season. Bellingham is contracted to Dortmund until 2025. They have informed Bellingham that they wouldn’t stand in his way if their £130m price tag is met.
Release clauses and Dortmund’s summer 2024 compromise
To entice Bellingham to stay at least one more season, the club are preparing a lucrative one-year contract extension, with a release clause that can be triggered for much less than £130m in the summer of 2024. It’s a credit to Bellingham’s form that Dortmund are preparing to make a teenager the highest-paid player in the club’s history. He has posted more dribbles, tackles and shots than any other Dortmund star.
Bellingham also enhanced his reputation considerably at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. Former Arsenal midfielder-turned-pundit Ray Parlour described him as an “old-fashioned midfielder” in the same ilk as Bryan Robson – someone that could “do anything” from shielding the backline to playing box-to-box.
Dortmund are now out of the UEFA Champions League, having been dumped out by Graham Potter’s Chelsea, despite securing a narrow first leg victory at Signal Iduna Park. The lack of Champions League football in the closing stages of the season could entice Bellingham to look at the trio of offers coming his way from outside of Germany.
The leading suitors for Bellingham’s signature
Premier League duo Liverpool and Manchester City have been long-time admirers of Bellingham, with Klopp viewing him as the missing piece in the Reds’ midfield. Meanwhile Real Madrid also want to tempt him to the Bernabeu and become their next ‘Galactico’. Reports suggest that Madrid have offered an initial deal worth £88m up front, with a further £35m in potential add-ons and top-ups.
While many journalists believe Bellingham’s preferred destination was initially Real Madrid, the financial packages on offer in the Premier League have certainly turned his head. City will no doubt be able to offer the most lucrative contract, while Liverpool offers an opportunity to be a part of the next era of Jurgen Klopp’s legacy.
Dortmund still have the small matter of a 2022/23 Bundesliga title bid to contend with, which Bellingham will be at the heart of. Dortmund haven’t won the German top flight since 2012 and a Bundesliga winners medal could be the best way for Bellingham to bow out with a bang.