Could Jude Bellingham sign a new Borussia Dortmund contract?
Jude Bellingham is the most talked about young footballer in the world right now, and for good reason: he’s a superstar in the making.
The 19-year-old has been in brilliant form for Borussia Dortmund this season, helping to guide them to the top of the Bundesliga table ahead of the international break.
Because to his sustained good form, and his general prodigal brilliance, Bellingham has been heavily linked with a move to some of Europe’s top clubs – Real Madrid, Manchester City and Liverpool among those keen to agree a deal.
But 90min has revealed that BVB will stand firm in their valuation of Bellingham, and a sale this summer will only be sanctioned if the club are to receive a record fee close to €150m.
So will Bellingham be leaving? If so, who will he be joining? Could the teenager even sign a contract extension at Dortmund?
To answer that and more, the Talking Transfers team, part of the 90min podcast network, assessed where we’re currently at and what could end up happening…
Graeme Bailey: What people forget is that Borussia Dortmund have Bellingham under contract until 2025. They’re allowing him to talk to these other clubs because they’re a well-run club. They sign players with the promise that they’re going to build them up for the future.
His people and his family have been talking to Real Madrid, Liverpool and Manchester City since the summer, if not before.
Graeme Bailey: If he doesn’t want to sign his new deal then Dortmund are open to him leaving, but there’s no bargain fee here – they want €150m. Some people may raise their eyebrows at that but they want to sell him for more than what they sold Ousmane Dembele to Barcelona for in 2017 (€144m).
I don’t think it’s beyond the realms of fantasy for them to ask for that fee. That’s his market value. Real Madrid and Manchester City can afford that fee. Liverpool, on the other hand, especially under FSG have no history of paying anywhere near that sort of fee. Obviously he comes with a huge wage packet as well so it’s hard to see Liverpool doing it, but from our understanding they are still in the race.
We expect Bellingham to tell Dortmund what he next move is by the end of March or potentially by Easter at the latest.
Graeme Bailey: If he decides to stay, Dortmund are preparing to make him the highest paid player in their history and they’ll include a release clause in the new contract. This is very similar to what they did with Erling Haaland. He stayed for another year and then eventually left.
It will be one of Liverpool, Real Madrid or Man City if he does go, but staying is becoming more and more of a possibility. Sources close to Dortmund have told us that the club have been making a case to Bellingham and his family have been receptive to it, his mum is living over there with him and he’s very happy there.
If stays for another year the release clause in his contract will be under £100m and will really open the door for a move to Liverpool. If he signs the new deal it may be hint that he, ultimately, does want to join Liverpool.
Toby Cudworth: The reality is Jude Bellingham does not need to move right now. He’s 19, his situation is not going to change in 12 months. Hell, it wouldn’t even change in the next three or four years because he’d still have every club in the world after him.
If the deal is not right for Dortmund, understandably they are going to hold out for a fee that they think he’s worth. Bellingham is the most valuable midfielder in world football right now.
Graeme Bailey: This could have knock-on effects for West Ham and Declan Rice for example: If Bellingham isn’t going anywhere, suddenly Rice looks a lot more attractive a proposition.
Toby Cudworth: Absolutely, because we anticipate City are going to rebuild their midfield this summer in some way. We’re expecting Bernardo Silva to leave, Kalvin Philiips’ future is uncertain, Ilkay Gundogan could be leaving. If it’s not Jude Bellingham going to Manchester City this summer, Declan Rice’s name – he’s already on their list – could be bumped up. There’s huge ramifications for what Bellingham chooses to do as it could shape how the rest of the market pans out.
LISTEN IN FULL
On this edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey & Toby Cudworth discuss the race to sign Jude Bellingham, Antonio Conte’s Tottenham future, Roy Hodgson’s return to Crystal Palace and move.
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!