When Liverpool backed out of the Jude Bellingham race, the narrative sold by the club through connected journalists was that the player’s cost had risen more than expected and that they couldn’t afford to sign both Bellingham and the other players they needed.
Now, though, the chatter out of Spain has Bellingham set to join Real Madrid for right around the fee Liverpool were rumoured to be willing to spend. That’s the latest from Real Madrid mouthpiece Marca, who suggest a €100M deal rising to €120M is in the works.
Barring an unexpected setback, they further claim the broad stroke personal terms for a six-year contract that would run through 2029 have been agreed and that they fully expect the 19-year-old to join Los Blancos when the transfer window officially opens on June 30th.
Converted to Pounds, that’s a deal worth at least £88M that could rise to around £106M if various performance-related escalators are triggered, both numbers slightly but not significantly higher than the £80M up front Liverpool were rumoured to be able to pay.
If the deal goes through and that ends up being the gap, it will be difficult to accept that the Reds walked away over fee for a player they made their top target for two seasons—it would suggest instead that Liverpool “backed out” as the player didn’t favour them.
Of course, in the world of transfer rumours nothing’s certain until a new signing is unveiled, but from a Liverpool fan perspective it will be understandably difficult to square these new Bellingham rumours with the story sold by the club through briefed journalists.