One of the major talking points this World Cup in Spain has been Jude Bellingham. Following his excellent showing against Iran in the first game, notching a goal in the process, Bellingham was receiving rave reviews from all sides. No doubt that was partly inspired by the links between him and one of Spain’s big two, yet that does not mean to say the praise was not justified.
Bellingham has been in fine form for Borussia Dortmund this season, taking on more of a leadership role for the German giants. Scoring four goals in the Champions League group stages and often leading the charge for the Schwarzgelben, he seems destined to be the next big young star to be sold by the club. Following on from expensive sales of Ousmane Dembele and Jadon Sancho, it seems likely Bellingham’s sale will break the €100m barrier.
Real Madrid are one of three teams courting the teenager, as per Fichajes.net. Seemingly they will have a tough job of securing his signature ahead of competitors Liverpool and Manchester City. Bellingham reportedly prefers to return back to England and the Premier League, where he might be more comfortable having left home at 16.
Additionally, the competition for places might put Bellingham off. With Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Fede Valverde, Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga all competing for playing time, it could hurt Bellingham’s development. The English midfielder has no intention of fighting for a place but wants a side prepared to build a team with him in mind.
It seems unlikely that Real Madrid would be dissuaded though. Los Blancos must look to their history and prestige in order to seduce Bellingham.
No other side can call on the European legacy that Real Madrid can, with their 14 Champions Leagues dwarfing any other club’s collection.
Equally if Bellingham has aspirations of winning the Ballon d’Or, Los Blancos not only have a history of producing them, but employ effective campaigns behind their players in recent years.
While Bellingham might be forced to compete for his spot, Real Madrid can make the argument that none will bring what he can to the team other than Luka Modric. At 37, the Croatian is fighting Father Time to keep up his physical level and it seems unlikely that Bellingham would be kept out of the side for more than a season by Modric. In addition, the chance to take a season to adapt to life in Madrid without the pressure of carrying the side’s creative burden alone could help any move. The opportunity to learn from Modric may also benefit him down the line.
Real Madrid also have added stability as a club. Pep Guardiola has been such a central part of Manchester City, it is not clear how they will react to his departure if he leaves in 2025. Meanwhile Liverpool are up for sale. In contrast, Real Madrid’s Florentino Perez shows no sign of slowing down the behemoth he has built in the Spanish capital.
Real Madrid as a club sell themselves to a certain extent. With a new stadium to be finished next year, the chance to become one of their main stars amongst a promising youthful core, challenging in Europe, should be enough to make Bellingham think twice.