Borussia Dortmund is reportedly ‘cooking’ a ‘secret plan’ to keep Jude Bellingham at the club despite strong interest from Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City.
The Englishman is one of the most sought-after players in Europe right now after starring for Dortmund and England in the World Cup.
The teenager has nine goals and five assists for Dortmund in all competitions this season.
He started in both of England’s games during the international break, playing 85 minutes in the Three Lions’ 2-1 win over Italy and 86 minutes in the 2-0 victory over Ukraine on Sunday.
He is attracting interest from Premier League sides Liverpool and Manchester City, while Spanish giants Real Madrid are also said to have made him a priority signing this summer.
With the biggest clubs in Europe circling, BVB know that keeping the youngster will be difficult. However, according to reports, the Bundesliga side has devised a plan to hold off interest from interested clubs.
According to German outlet Bild via Daily Mail, the club’s sporting director Sebastian Kehl is planning to invite the player and his father, Mark, who also doubles as his agent, to offer him a deal that would see him remain at Signal Iduna Park for at least one more season.
Dortmund wants to offer the 19-year-old a £ 13 million-a-season contract, making him the highest-paid player in the club’s history.
However, the report adds that he would be given a release clause of £131 million to allow Dortmund to rake in a hefty fee and give clubs a perfect opportunity to snatch him up.
Signing that deal would mean the likes of Liverpool, City and Real Madrid would be dealt a huge blow and be forced to wait even longer to secure their prime target.
The report also adds that Bellingham’s departure this summer is ‘much more likely’ than his renewal with Dortmund, with the top European clubs set to ‘try everything’ to convince him to leave.
Los Blancos remain the favourites to lure him away. However, a summer move to Santiago Bernabeu will largely depend on whether the Spanish club offers Toni Kroos or Luka Modric a new deal.
Both players see their deals expire at the end of the season without any talks of a renewal yet.
Should Madrid keep both, Dortmund’s chances of keeping Bellingham for another season would ‘increase’, with their ‘secret plan’ possibly coming into play.