Liverpool want to sign Jude Bellingham next summer in what could prove to be a club-record £80m deal.
Jurgen Klopp has made the England sensation his No.1 target – and the Reds are believed to be ahead of bitter rivals Manchester United in the race to sign him.
But Anfield bosses will have to make him the club’s most expensive ever signing ahead of Virgil Van Dijk if they are to prise him out of Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp wants to strengthen his midfield with a statement signing and the German boss believes Bellingham is the ideal fit for his team.
Bellingham, 18, snubbed a move to United in the summer of 2020 in favour of joining Dortmund from Birmingham City in a £25m deal.
Since then he has gone on to establish himself as one of the best teenagers in world football and his value has rocketed.
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He was part of the England squad that reached the final of Euro 2020 this summer and is expected to be instrumental to Gareth Southgate’s assault on the World Cup in Qatar next winter.
It is understood Bellingham is happy at Dortmund and will not agitate for a return to English football.
But he knows his long term future is in the Premier League and would find the lure of a move to Anfield difficult to resist.
United rolled out the red carpet in a bid to sign Bellingham, with former boss Sir Alex Ferguson even giving him a guided tour of the club’s Carrington training ground.
He is still on the radar of United right now, but Old Trafford chiefs will pull out all the stops to sign Bellingham’s Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland next summer instead.