Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has lavished praise on Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham amid his side’s interest in the player.
The Reds have been heavily linked with a move for the 19-year-old sensation. However, in addition to waiting until the summer to make a move, they will have to battle several other European heavy hitters for his signature.
Liverpool are not known for splashing heavily on players, but Bellingham’s £129 million valuation has not put them off. They will look to test Dortmund’s resolve next summer with a January move out of the question.
Bellingham had already established himself as one of the best young midfielders in Europe, evident by the number of clubs showing interest in his services. However, his performances for England at the World Cup further enhanced his reputation.
The English wonderkid was a regular for the Three Lions in midfield throughout the competition and, coupled with some extraordinary displays, he chipped in with a goal and an assist in his five appearances at the tournament.
Not one to talk about players at other clubs, but Klopp could not hide his admiration for Bellingham and waxed lyrically about the player’s qualities when asked if the youngster was affordable for Liverpool given his stand-out performances in Qatar.
“I don’t like to talk about money when you talk about a player like him – everyone can see he is just exceptional,” said Klopp (via Telegraph).
“If you mention to someone who has no clue about football or who knows about football and has not watched it for a while ‘how old do you think Jude Bellingham is?’ I don’t think anyone would get even close to his age. They would say 28 or 29 because he plays so mature.
“He played an exceptional World Cup. Absolutely exceptional. With all the things he has and things he can improve – to describe him I would say the things he can do are difficult to learn, and the things he can improve are easy to learn.
“So, yes, he is a really good player. What can I say? I have thought that for two or three years since he had his breakthrough at Dortmund.”
Liverpool are keen on the player, but it remains to be seen if they can match his current price tag. The Reds have also been linked with a move for Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez.
Fernandez is seen as an alternative to Bellingham. But the Argentine sensation will also cost Liverpool a huge sum, with Benfica unwilling to sell until his €120m release clause is triggered.