Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has been handed a boost in his pursuit of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.
The Lowdown: Bellingham targeted
There are a whole host of Premier League clubs plotting a move for Bellingham, with Sky Sports recently indicating that Liverpool have made him their priority in the summer transfer window, while Man City have also stepped up their interest in the wake of his performances at the World Cup for England, according to Football Insider.
While Guardiola will no doubt have to fend off interest from elsewhere to secure the central-midfielder, a new development has came to light which indicates that his side may be ahead of another potential suitor in the race for his signature.
The Latest: Real Madrid’s interest
According to Spanish sources, via CaughtOffside, Real Madrid would be unwilling to spend the £130m price tag slapped on the 19-year-old, meaning City may have one less club to compete with to complete a deal for the sought-after youngster in 2023.
However, they would have to be willing to break their own British transfer record of £100m, which they spent on Jack Grealish in 2021.
The Verdict: He’s worth it
Recent performances at the World Cup have only underlined the talent of the England international, displaying the passing range that would be required in a Guardiola team with an extraordinary 96% accuracy against Iran, second to only current City player John Stones in terms of England starters.
Lauded as ‘one of the most gifted players‘ fellow Man City man Phil Foden has ever seen, the starlet also showed another side to his game with his first England goal in the same match, sending a deft, looping header past the goalkeeper to get the Three Lions off the mark for the tournament.
During his time with Dortmund, the £49k-per-week earner has wowed fans at the Signal Iduna Park with other aspects of his game as well, registering 1.79 dribbles per 90 minutes over the past year, in the 95th percentile compared to players in the same position.
Given that Bellingham has all the hallmarks to be a top quality central-midfielder for at least a decade to come, he is worth the £130m price tag, and Guardiola should do everything he can to lure him to the club.