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Real Madrid see Jude Bellingham as Luka Modric's successor

The Borussia Dortmund youngster is who Real Madrid have their sights on to reinforce the midfield next year. Modric will renew until June 2023.

Real Madrid see Jude Bellingham as Luka Modric's successor

Jude Bellingham is the player Real Madrid have chosen to take over Luka Modric's role in the team from 2023. All of the reports which the club's technical department have compiled on the Borussia Dortmund player are glowing and conclude that the 18-year-old is perfectly prepared - both physically and technically, to fill the huge void which Modric will leave when the time comes for him to leave Real Madrid.

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Madrid hope to get the operation underway during the summer of 2023 - they would prefer to wait 12 months because Modric is set to sign a one-year contract extension, most probably his last with the club. Madrid will announce Modric's new deal in May, once the season is over. It will effectively allow Luka to star with Croatia at the Qatar World Cup as a Real Madrid player and at the peak of his career - even though, incredibly, he will turn 37 in September. A one-year extension was what the player wanted and Madrid are happy to oblige because he has been superb this season and fully deserves a new deal. In LaLiga, Modric has played 64% of the possible minutes and has been in the starting line-up in 69% of Madrid's games. He has contributed a couple of goals and five assists in the league so far.

Bellingham, number 22

But Madrid have to think about the future and Bellingham, who will turn 19 in June, has all of the qualities needed for their plan to rejuvenate a midfield which in two years, could be formed by Tchouaméni, Camavinga, Valverde and Bellingham. The English midfielder is enjoying a brilliant stint with Dortmund, having played a total of 37 games, scoring six goals and having provided 13 assists. It is his ability to create goal-scoring chances which convinced Madrid, given that he has excellent vision and reading of the game. Dortmund's recruitment of promising young talent has been equally as exceptional. They signed him from Birmingham City two years ago for 25 million euros. He made such an impact at Birmingham and is so fondly remembered that they retired the number 22 shirt he wore during his time there. He has the same number at Borussia Dortmund and it will become free at Real Madrid this summer when Isco moves on...

Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund enjoy an excellent relationship and that will ease negociations. There is no retention clause, although Bellingham's market value has been rated at 77.9 million euros by Olocip - a figure which could rise further over the coming months. Out of all the clubs in the Bundesliga, he is the player who wins the most free-kicks ( averaging +0.652 per game) and within the Dortmund squad, he is the clear leader in stats such as counter-attacking passes, success rate at getting past rivals and through-balls. The AI software developed by Olocip predicts that under Carlo Ancelotti, Bellingham will improve many facets of his game - especially in attacking moves and elaborating play. His involvement would help the team to score at least one goal in every four games and his contribution to Madrid would see an increase of 35% compared to his current figures for Dortmund.

Madrid's dealings with Dortmund

Florentino Pérez and Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke have an excellent relationship, as we saw with the loan deals involving Achraf and Reinier. Talks until now have centred around Erling Haaland. The operation for Bellingham would cost around 100 million euros - the English midfielder would be 20 by the time he gets to the Bernabéu which means it would be easy to pay off that figure over a long contract - for five or six years. At Dortmund, Bellingham earns 247,000 euros per month (around three million a year after tax) - paying a similar salary wouldn't be a problem for Madrid. Also, he has a sponsorship deal with Adidas, which is in line with Madrid's own commercial interests as they are one of the club's major sponsors.

The sky's the limit for Bellingham. He came second in the most recent editions of the Golden Boy award and Trophée Kopa - both won by Pedri, which recognises the the most talented players under the age of 21 in Europe and the rest of the world. He starred for England at last year's Euro 2020 and has 10 caps at senior level. If Madrid manage to sign Bellingham next summer, he will become the first English player on the books since David Beckham left in June 2007. Madrid's other English players include Michael Owen, Jonathan Woodgate, Steve McManaman and Laurie Cunningham...

Bellingham has the quality and skills needed to lead Madrid into the future as well take over from one of the team's most important players over the past nine years, Luka Modric.