Liverpool are reportedly leading the race to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund next summer.
The 19-year-old Golden Boy 2022 nominee, who has already won 15 caps for England, is considered one of Europe’s best midfielders and has also been linked with Manchester United as well as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
United and Liverpool are believed to have the best chances of signing Bellingham, but Jurgen Klopp’s team are now leading the race, according to The Telegraph, with the German boss making no secret of his admiration for the player.
Bellingham joined Dortmund in 2020 from youth club Birmingham City and has scored 13 goals in 99 games for the Bundesliga club.
But the Englishman, who will almost certainly travel to Qatar for the World Cup in November, played down talk of a move this week as he felt it would be disrespectful to Dortmund.
He said: ‘[Dortmund] have done a lot for me and made me feel very welcome since my arrival and gave me the opportunity to develop even further.
“To look beyond that and into the future would be disrespectful.”
When asked if returning to England was a long-term goal of his, Bellingham added: “To be honest, I don’t think about it.”
Bellingham was named VDV Bundesliga promoted team for the 2020-21 season and included in the VDV Bundesliga team for the 2021-22 season.
He wrote his name in the Champions League record books despite Dortmund losing to Manchester City on Wednesday, becoming the England teenager with the most goals in the history of the competition.
Jamie Carragher has already warned there will be an “auction” for Bellingham next summer despite being under contract until 2025, with the Stourbridge-born teenager likely to be able to pick the top club he wants would like.