With another international break starting and no club football for two weeks, it was always inevitable that Liverpool fans would be faced with a few new transfer story twists. And given the way the 2022-23 season has gone, the twists were unlikely to be positive.
Queue Monday’s claims in The Athletic that Liverpool had fallen behind in the race to sign 19-year-old Dortmund star Jude Bellingham. After pushing back a much needed midfield rebuild in order to wait for the player, it’s just the twist many have been dreading.
Today, though, according to club-connected David Lynch, it’s business as usual on the Bellingham front as he acknowledges that the Reds would likely never win a bidding war against Real Madrid and Manchester City—but that has always been the case.
Nobody can spend more than City in particular given they have the backing of a nation state whose only concern is using their sporting successes to further burnish their image. Their selling points to a player are the same now as a month ago as last year.
As for Bellingham and Liverpool, the club know the kind of fee and wages it would take to sign the player and are prepared to pay. But there is a point where, quite obviously, they could not match. So a Bellingham deal has always depended on the player.
City and Madrid being able to pay more isn’t news, nor is it a new development. As last week and last month and last summer when Liverpool chose to wait on their first choice, we’ll just have to hope Bellingham is as set on them as they are on him.