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Real Madrid target Bellingham set for Borussia Dortmund future talks

Jude Bellingham is set to sit down with Borussia Dortmund to discuss his future, as Real Madrid lead the chase for the England star’s signature.

Update:
Jude Bellingham is set to sit down with Borussia Dortmund to discuss his future, as Real Madrid lead the chase for the England star’s signature.
ANDREW BOYERSAction Images via Reuters

In the coming days, Real Madrid target Jude Bellingham is expected to inform Borussia Dortmund of his desire to leave in the summer.

Bellingham, Dortmund set for talks ahead of Spain trip

Dortmund chiefs have called a meeting with Bellingham to discuss his future, with the Bundesliga club aiming to hold these talks before 6 January, when the squad is due to travel to Marbella for a week-long winter training camp. Bellingham will be joined at the meeting by his father, Mark, who acts as his agent, and family friend Mark Bennett, who advises the Bellinghams. Representing Dortmund will be Hans-Joachim Watzke and Sebastian Kehl, the club’s CEO and sporting director, respectively.

Dortmund, who enjoy an excellent relationship with Bellingham’s representatives, are 95% certain that the 19-year-old England star will ask for an end-of-season transfer. However, the eight-time German champions head into the upcoming talks safe in the knowledge that they have reaped full value for money from a player they signed for €25m in 2020, when he was still just 16.

Bellingham could cost around €140m

Amid interest not only from Madrid, but a host of other major clubs such as Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City, sources with intimate knowledge of the situation say Dortmund will seek an initial €100m fee from Bellingham’s sale - plus a series of add-ons that could take his total price tag to around €140m.

A couple of months ago, Dortmund sought unsuccessfully to persuade Bellingham to renew his present contract, which expires in 2025. Had they managed it, they would have included a buy-out figure of €150m. Despite what has been reported in recent days, the player does not currently have a release clause. Given that he will be out of contract in 18 months’ time, Dortmund accept they must cash in this summer or risk losing him for free at the end of the 2024/25 season. They are set to make a handsome profit on their investment in the Birmingham City youth product.

Bellingham in action for England.
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Bellingham in action for England.ALBERTO LINGRIADiarioAS

Madrid leading chase for Bellingham

As has been reported by AS, Madrid are in pole position to sign Bellingham. Los Blancos are yet to hold negotiations with Dortmund, but have sounded out the player’s camp over his desire to join the club, and have received positive feedback. Liverpool appear to be Madrid’s closest challengers for Bellingham’s signature - like City, the Reds have made contact with Dortmund - but it’s understood the teenager would rather move to the Bernabéu than go to the Premier League.

A further factor that works in Madrid’s favour is club president Florentino Pérez’s good relationship with Watzke, with whom he has developed a friendship that goes back a decade. A sign of the pair’s good relationship is Pérez’s willingness to send Madrid’s major young talent on loan to Signal Iduna Park: Achraf Hakimi spent two seasons in Germany between 2018 and 2020, and Reinier was also at Dortmund for two years before going to Girona in the summer.

This season, Bellingham has established himself once and for all as an elite performer. The midfielder was a key player for England at the World Cup in Qatar, and has also been crucial for Dortmund, racking up nine goals and four assists in 29 games for the club in 2022/23. At present, the specialist website Transfermarkt estimates his worth at €110m, making him the most valuable player in the Bundesliga.

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