According to reports, Erik ten Hag is eager for Manchester United to secure the services of Jude Bellingham, whom he believes is a “generational talent” and a potential future captain at Old Trafford. Bellingham has attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including Manchester City, Real Madrid, Liverpool, and Chelsea, ahead of the summer transfer window. The 19-year-old midfielder has become one of the most highly-rated players in the world during his three-year stint at Borussia Dortmund and has been a regular starter for England.
While Bellingham is contracted to Dortmund until 2024, there is a growing belief that he will leave the club this summer for pastures new. Manchester United hold a genuine interest in the player, with Ten Hag being a “huge admirer” of him, according to the Daily Telegraph. However, Bellingham will not come cheap, and Dortmund are reportedly looking for an offer of at least £110m to part ways with the former Birmingham City star. If a club were to match Dortmund’s valuation, it would make Bellingham the most expensive British player of all time, surpassing the £100m Manchester City spent to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.
Ten Hag is keen to sign a new midfielder this summer, but his priority remains bolstering his attacking options and bringing an elite goalscorer to the club. Harry Kane and Victor Osimhen are figures of interest for Manchester United. The Dutchman believes further reinforcements are needed to mount a Premier League title challenge next season.
Liverpool were believed to be leading the race for Bellingham earlier this year, but they face a huge fight to qualify for next season’s Champions League, which could tempt the Dortmund star to look elsewhere. Former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand reckons Bellingham will have major doubts about joining Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp’s side miss out on the Champions League. Speaking after Liverpool’s Champions League last-16 defeat to Real Madrid, Ferdinand told BT Sport: “If Liverpool get Bellingham then Stevie [Gerrard] and yourselves [Michael Owen and Peter Crouch] will have swam the English Channel to get him.”
Fellow pundit Peter Crouch did not disagree with Ferdinand, adding: “If you’re Jude Bellingham, you’re sitting at home with your choice of clubs, and Liverpool in transition at the moment may not be the right option for him.”