Liverpool could be prevented from signing Jude Bellingham if they don’t finish in the Premier League top four this season.
That’s according to The Times, who have once again reiterated Liverpool’s interest in the 19-year-old today.
However, that attraction is reportedly conditional. It’s suggested that a finish outside of the Champions League places could ‘determine how far their interest progresses.’
Similarly, how much Bellingham is eventually sold for will reportedly have an impact on how far Liverpool end up getting.
Manchester City and Real Madrid are named as the two other sides pursuing the England midfielder.
Bad news at noon for Liverpool
As they often tend to do, the local Liverpool reporters have dropped the same news at around the same time.
Today, the big news as reported in The Times was that sporting director Julian Ward will step down at the end of the season.
The Telegraph have also gone with the same story, dropped at exactly the same time – 12pm today.
Nestled inside the article is a little bit of further information on Liverpool’s pursuit of Bellingham. And it isn’t pretty for Reds fans.
In fact, it almost reads like an admission of Liverpool bowing out of the race. It’s reported that Bellingham ‘already looks beyond Liverpool’s means’ after a good game – and a goal – for England at the World Cup.
There are two caveats added to that. The first is that if Liverpool find a new owner before the bidding commences, it could be back on. The second is that if Jurgen Klopp flogs one of his star names, they could be in the race.
It’s claimed that the only reason the Reds could afford to sign Darwin Nunez and renew Mohamed Salah’s contract is because they sold Sadio Mane.
Perhaps that’s the depressing reality then, for Liverpool fans. There remains hope that, just this once, FSG will break the bank on a player they’ve seemingly waited two summers to sign. But in the end, maybe it was all just too good to be true.