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Reliable journo confirms Liverpool’s interest in 19-year-old English international star

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Fabrizio Romano: Jude Bellingham remains the top Liverpool target among other midfielders

As per Italian Football Journalist Fabrizio Romano via CaughtOffside (h/t Liverpool Echo), Liverpool’s top transfer target this season is Jude Bellingham despite recent claims linking the club with Leicester City’s James Maddison.

Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness suggested the club go for Madders instead of the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, as multiple clubs are targeting the 19-year-old.

The Reds have shown interest in Jude ever since his move to the Bundesliga from Birmingham City back in 2020. The central midfielder started in England’s opener in the World Cup against Iran earlier today [21Nov 2022] and opened the scoring for the Three Lions in their 6-2 win.

As far as Maddison is concerned, the 25-year-old’s contract at Leicester lasts until 2024 (Transfermarkt). A knee injury saw him sidelined against Iran, but he could be back in time for the match against the United States.

Fabrizio Romano: Jude Bellingham remains the top Liverpool target among other midfielders.
Jude Bellingham is the number one transfer priority for Liverpool.

Here is what Romano had to say about the midfield situation at Liverpool via his CaughtOffside column:

“Graeme Souness has suggested that there might be too much competition for Bellingham, so Jurgen Klopp should try going after James Maddison instead. I’m sure Liverpool will be linked with 100 midfielders in the months ahead, by both media reports and pundit comments like this. We know they will be busy with midfield changes in 2023.”

“At the moment, though, there are still no clubs in negotiations for Maddison…so we will see what Liverpool will decide to do. For the time being, Bellingham remains the top priority; nothing has changed.”

A long-term solution for the Reds

The Reds are in a make-or-break situation when it comes to their midfield. The legs of James Milner and Jordan Henderson are not as fast as their brains and we cannot depend on the duo in the long term. Moreover, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita do not seem in the reckoning for a contract extension, and in all likelihood, will leave the club next summer for free.

Thiago is also 31 and Liverpool will obviously need some young players to secure the long-term future for the club. Harvey Elliott is a natural winger and could not possibly play in the middle for a long while.

Fabrizio Romano: Jude Bellingham remains the top Liverpool target among other midfielders.
Former Liverpool captain Graeme Souness urges the club to rope in James Maddison.

Someone like Bellingham and/or Maddison will almost be a perfect solution to the Reds’ misery. Both players have their prime years ahead of them and could be the perfect pivot in Jurgen Klopp’s lineup. The only factor which could be an issue is their valuation.

A £50m bid from Newcastle United for Madders in the summer stood rejected by Leicester which obviously means that he would be worth more than that presently. And for Jude, Dortmund will not accept anything below £130m for the teenager as per The Athletic (Subscription Required).

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With both players expected to play substantial roles in England’s World Cup campaign, their valuation could plummet furthermore. Hence, any early negotiations for a possible move, if explored by Liverpool will be extremely wise.