Jude Bellingham is tipped to leave Dortmund this summer (Photo: Getty)
Paul Merson believes that Jude Bellingham will want to move to Liverpool regardless of whether or not they qualify for the Champions League.
Who Bellingham will sign for next is the question on everyone’s minds right now, with the teenage midfielder arguably the best young player in the world right now.
The England international is tipped to leave Borussia Dortmund in the summer for a fee upwards of £100million with Liverpool leading the race for his signature.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and Real Madrid are also linked with the 19-year-old.
Anfield appears to be his preferred destination, however United legend Rio Ferdinand recently speculated that Bellingham could be having doubts over moving there after Liverpool’s exit from the Champions League.
Jurgen Klopp’s men crashed out of the competition after losing 6-2 on aggregate to Real on Wednesday, and looked very lacklustre over both legs.
The Reds are currently sixth in the table and six points off the top four, albeit with a game in hand, but if they miss out they will fail to qualify for the UCL for the first time since 2016.
Can Jurgen Klopp persuade Bellingham to join Liverpool (Photo: Getty)
Not being able to play in the Champions League may dissuade Bellingham from signing for Liverpool, but Merson isn’t convinced this will be the case.
‘I get where Rio Ferdinand is coming from when he says Jude Bellingham will be picking Real Madrid over Liverpool on the basis of their Champions League knockout clash,’ the Arsenal legend told the Daily Star.
‘But I’ve read stories about Bellingham and his family and all they were ever interested in was ensuring he plays football when they picked Borussia Dortmund over Man United.
‘One year out of the Champions League at 19 isn’t going to define his career if Liverpool miss out on fourth. He’s not an egotistical player and my feeling is he likes the challenge.
‘It’s alright playing in the Champions League but what’s the point if you don’t win it anyway? He’s an example for every kid out there, it’s not about money, it’s about performing.
‘I still think he might swallow a year out of the Champions League if Liverpool don’t qualify. He has a very long career ahead of him.’
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Ferdinand said Bellingham would be having doubts over moving to Liverpool.