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Liverpool ‘failed to sign Bellingham in 2012 & may now have to pay record £131m’

Liverpool could have to fork out a British record £131million if they are to sign long-term target Jude Bellingham – having previously attempted to sign him as a youngster ten years ago.

The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is one of the most in demand players in world football with Manchester United, Man City, Chelsea and Real Madrid also keen on the 19-year-old.

Jurgen Klopp is a massive fan of Bellingham, though signing him this past summer was never a realistic opportunity with the Bundesliga side already losing Erling Haaland.

The Athletic have reported that the ‘landscape will be different next summer’ and that Dortmund could be ‘severely tested’ with just two years left on Bellingham’s contract.

It’s added though that Dortmund have not resigned themselves to losing the player and intend to offer him improved terms in the hopes he will sign a contract extension.

Out of the clubs interested, it’s said that Liverpool’s spans back the longest, with Bellingham spending two days at their Kirkby academy when he was playing with Birmingham City’s Under 11’s.

Liverpool made a pitch to sign Bellingham though his family opted to keep him based in Birmingham.

The Reds have since kept tabs on the 19-year-old throughout his time in Birmingham, before his move to Borussia Dortmund in 2020.

Dortmund could be set to rake in from selling Bellingham, who unlike Haaland, did not have a release clause on his contract.

Haaland joined Man City for what now appears to be a bargain at £51m, though a move for Bellingham could break the club’s £100m British record for Jack Grealish in 2021.

Manchester United could also be strongly interested in Bellingham, given they tried to sign him before he joined Dortmund.

The Bellingham family visited United before signing a deal with the Bundesliga side.

The Athletic report that United watched Bellingham play ’46 times’ at various levels since the age of 12, and the message that kept coming back was that he was a player ‘to be signed immediately’.

United tried to sign Bellingham when he was 15, but similar to Liverpool’s approach, the player had a loyalty to Birmingham.

Despite United’s approach in 2020, in which Sir Alex Ferguson met up with the family, it’s said Bellingham saw Dortmund as the ‘perfect stepping stone’ to follow in the path of Jadon Sancho – who now plays for the Red Devils.

Meanwhile, Chelsea might be interested in a push for Bellingham, with Jorginho and N’Golo Kante now in their 30s.

Real Madrid and Manchester City have less need for the player due to their wide array of talent in the midfield position, but would have the funds to buy the England international.

Bellingham has been in excellent form for Dortmund across his ten appearances in all competitions this season, particularly impressing in the Champions League where he has scored in their 3-0 victory over FC Copenhagen and their 2-1 defeat to Man City.

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