According to sources, Liverpool was putting all of their eggs in the Bellingham basket and hoped to wait until next summer to snag the ideal target.
Bellingham has been outstanding for Borussia Dortmund over the past few of seasons, and he demonstrated during the World Cup why he has become one of the most in-demand young players in Europe.
David Ornstein, a journalist for The Athletic, reportedly said that Liverpool were the “frontrunners” for Bellingham’s signature, but that “uncertainty” around the club’s ownership could “play into the hands” of their rivals for the England international.
Bellingham is rumored to cost the Reds more than £100 million, and Ornstein claimed in an interview that “just a tiny number of clubs will be able to afford” the midfielder.
The previous few days, however, have seen rumours claiming that Liverpool and Enzo Fernandez of Benfica have “reached a pre-agreement.”
The Merseysiders ‘agree to match’ any bid from another club for the Argentina international, who has been shining at the World Cup, it has been reported.
According to the Spanish publication Marca, Liverpool is now prepared to “give up” on Bellingham since they have discovered Fernandez to be a “more accessible target.”
Compared to the possible price for Bellingham, Fernandez’s release clause in his contract with Benfica is worth €90 million (£77 million), which Liverpool “considers affordable.”
Despite Real Madrid not having the same “highest need and urgency” for a central midfielder as Liverpool, Marca continues that Klopp’s interest in Fernandez “opens the door to an immediate operation and a clear road” to Real Madrid.
Bellingham “convinced everyone” at the World Cup, and the La Liga giants believe “the effort could be worth it.” Real Madrid can “contemplate all these maneuvers with some calm,” but Bellingham “convinced everyone” at the World Cup.
In the battle with Real Madrid to recruit him, Liverpool was the Premier League team “showing the most tenacity and the one that was willing to go the furthest.”