There’s little doubt that Borussia Dortmund and England star, Jude Bellingham, will be on the radar of some of European football’s major clubs this summer, but even if Liverpool were to miss out on the player, they have a highly-rated alternative they could turn to.
Writing exclusive for CaughtOffside’s Substack, French football journalist, Johnathan Johnson, says that Reds fans needn’t be too unhappy if 19-year-old Bellingham decides to ply his trade somewhere other than Anfield from next season.
From the club’s perspective, one alternative is likely to come in a lot cheaper than the record fee 90Min believe Dortmund would expect for their player, eclipsing the €144m they received from Barcelona for Ousmane Dembele.
‘This week’s big story came from The Athletic’s reliable David Ornstein, who reported that Liverpool are ‘unlikely’ to sign top target Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund with Real Madrid and Manchester City both ahead in the race for the Englishman’s signature,’ Johnson wrote.
‘Even though a lot of fans have their hopes pinned on Liverpool signing Bellingham, all hope of the club making a good signing is not lost and that is because the next player that I can see a number of European giants turning their attention towards is Monaco’s Youssouf Fofana.
‘Fofana is still only 24 years old and is already one of Monaco’s most highly-rated midfielders. He also has an attractive contract situation which is set to expire next summer or the following year if Monaco decides to trigger his one-year extension clause.’
Though Bellingham does have a five-year age advantage on his contemporary, Liverpool will surely look at the financial aspect of any deal before deciding the best course of action.
If it isn’t possible to secure the midfielder simply because the transfer fee and contract terms are too high, then the Reds and their fans quickly need to admit defeat and move on.
A player like Fofana isn’t going to be around forever either, and it’s important that Liverpool’s transfer team are across all possible scenarios.
What is clear, with Arthur Melo likely to return to Juventus and both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita being allowed to leave per The Athletic, Liverpool’s midfield is going to look a lot different in 2022/23.