West Ham United striker Michail Antonio has now suggested a reason as to why Liverpool pulled out of the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham.
Speaking on The Footballer’s Football Podcast with Newcastle United’s Callum Wilson, the Hammers attacker claimed the Reds probably didn’t think they were going to be the team to land the 19-year-old.
“I’ll be honest, I feel they’re pulling out because they don’t feel like they’re gonna get him anyway,” said Antonio.
“I don’t think they’re pulling out because of wages; I don’t think they’re pulling out because of price.
“They’re pulling out because they believe that – [or] they’ve probably heard something – and they know that he’s going somewhere else.”
Antonio suggests Liverpool thought they weren’t going to get Bellingham
Although this argument could perhaps make sense, especially with the years of discourse surrounding Liverpool’s pursuit of Bellingham, we don’t think it’s the actual reason.
Antonio was quick to rule out the wages and the fee needed, but we believe this is the exact reason why.
After years of funds being starved by FSG, this is surely why the Reds haven’t gone and got the teenager.
Ultimately, he is going to go for one of the largest transfer fees of all time, and that would be very uncharacteristic of John Henry to pay.
Instead, as the owners can now see the huge need for a rebuild this summer, they would rather cut the budget up into smaller dividends to help reduce costs.
Bellingham’s arrival wouldn’t play into this, meaning they have probably advised the club to look for alternative targets.