Jude Bellingham is England’s future.
And next summer you can be sure that every top club in Europe will want to buy the teenage talent who is pressing his claim for a starting place in Gareth Southgate’s team at the World Cup – and beyond.
According to the noises coming out of Borussia Dortmund, it will take an offer in excess of £130million to tempt them to cash in.
If that’s what it’s going to cost for Dortmund to do business then the small pool of clubs who will be in the running for Bellingham’s signature will probably diminish even further.
Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Paris St Germain have that kind of financial might.
But anyone else? I’m not so sure.
There is a lot of excitement amongst Liverpool fans that Bellingham is destined for Anfield.
You can be sure that Manchester United will also be in the mix.
But while Liverpool have not blinked in the past when it has come to breaking the bank for the right player – think Virgil van Dijk, Alisson and Darwin Nunez – it remains to be seen whether the club’s owners would allow themselves to be lured into a bidding war.
And we have seen with United’s patient recruitment of Jadon Sancho and their refusal to cave into Barcelona’s demands for Frenkie de Jong that there is a new financial reality at Old Trafford.
It will be interesting to see how far the two north-west giants are prepared to go for Bellingham to grace their red shirt.
I’m as sure as I can be that the 19-year-old midfielder’s head won’t be turned by money.
He showed that when he opted to move from Birmingham City to Dortmund two years ago because he felt regular playing time for one of the Bundesliga’s best clubs was the best option for his career development.
AFP via Getty Images)
What an inspired choice that’s proved to have been.
I watched Bellingham in Dortmund’s Champions League defeat at Manchester City earlier this month and he was outstanding.
Erling Haaland got all the plaudits for his spectacular winning goal for City.
But Bellingham, playing as a box-to-box midfielder, didn’t look out of place competing with Kevin De Bruyne – and also got on the scoresheet.
It was the kind of performance that illustrated the case for him starting for England at the World Cup.
He will have his pick of clubs next summer.
It goes without saying that I would love to see him playing under Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Not least because it would take the Kop about five minutes to come up with some alternative lyrics to the Beatles classic ‘Hey Jude’ if it did happen!
Bellingham is the kind of player Klopp needs.
Liverpool have had an uninspired start to the season.
But it was only four months ago that Klopp’s side took themselves to within two games of immortality.
Let’s not forget how close Liverpool were to winning the Champions League and Premier League to the FA Cup and Carabao Cup last May.
The suggestion that their squad requires a complete rebuild is nonsense.
But every team needs to be refreshed now and then – and I think the arrival of Bellingham next summer would lift Liverpool in the same way that signing Van Dijk once did.
Will it happen? I don’t think anyone knows with any certainty where Jude Bellingham will be playing his football next season.
AFP via Getty Images)
But one thing I am sure of is that any elite club with ambitions of keeping themselves at the very top of the game have to evolve.
Planning for the future is a big part of that process – but there also comes a time when they have to think about the here and now.
Manchester City made that kind of statement by signing Haaland – and his impact on a team that has won four out of five titles has been stunning.
I put Bellingham in the same category.