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Liverpool may face missing out on Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid, with the Borussia Dortmund midfielder’s father reportedly meeting club chiefs in London. Transfer discussions are said to be ‘underway’ ahead of Dortmund’s Champions League clash against Chelsea on Tuesday night.
The Bundesliga giants visit Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg as they attempt to seal progression into the quarter-finals. But there is a Bellingham-shaped cloud looming over the Black and Yellows’ season ahead of a blockbuster summer transfer battle in waiting.
The 19-year-old, reportedly valued at around £135million, is widely expected to secure a big-money move away at the end of the campaign. And Real are said to have taken steps to ensure they gain an advantage over Liverpool, Manchester City and his other suitors.
According to Foot Mercato, Real’s director of international football, Juni Calafat, is meeting Bellingham’s father at a London hotel in the build-up to kick-off.
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Calafat’s role is to recruit young players globally, and Bellingham, one of the world’s most coveted starlets, could be his current assignment. A meeting between the pair is said to be underway at the Chelsea Harbour hotel in the English capital, where Calafat is presenting Real’s project for the Dortmund superstar.
Los Blancos have made an offensive after Luka Modric reportedly told the club he plans to leave when his contract expires in July. The 37-year-old looks set to end his decorated spell at the Santiago Bernabeu, leaving a monstrous hole in Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield that must be filled.
Toni Kroos’ uncertain future, also nearing his contract expiry, raises the need for potential midfield investment.
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Real were considered outsiders alongside Liverpool and Man City due to Bellingham’s home roots and their financial situation. The European champions splashed £85m to beat Liverpool to the signing of AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni last summer.
A year earlier, they recruited Eduardo Camavinga on a long-term deal as the future of their midfield continues to take shape.
With Casemiro leaving for Manchester United last year, Modric and Kroos’ departures would spell the end of a historic period in Real’s history. And they seem set to pursue Bellingham to become the headline star of their new midfield generation, giving him a difficult decision to make when summer arrives.
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