Chris Sutton names what Liverpool 'must' do if they are to win race for Jude Bellingham

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton has claimed that Liverpool have to secure a UEFA Champions League spot this season to acquire the services of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.

The 19-year-old has established himself as an indispensable member of BVB’s squad since arriving from Birmingham City for an initial fee of £25 million in the summer of 2020. He has netted 19 goals and contributed 21 assists in 112 games across all competitions for the Bundesliga side.

A box-to-box operator blessed with passing and dribbling, Bellingham has recently witnessed a rise in his stock following his standout outings for England at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Apart from the Reds, Real Madrid and Manchester City are also in the race to snap him up.

In his column for Daily Mail, Sutton shared his thoughts on Liverpool’s chances of roping in Bellingham in the future. He wrote:

“Can Bellingham’s bromance with [Jordan] Henderson help Liverpool sign him? What would give them more of an advantage is if they finish in a Champions League spot. That’s a must. Bellingham and Henderson might be besties but he doesn’t want to play for a club in the Europa League. He wants to be among the elite.”

Sutton asserted that the Reds, who are currently seven points adrift of the fourth spot in the Premier League standings, must be at their best in the second half of the ongoing 2022-23 season. He added:

“Liverpool have regressed a little in recent times, whereas this 19-year-old wants to go to a club that is moving forward. That makes the rest of this season huge for Jurgen Klopp’s side if they want to win the transfer race for Bellingham.”

Bellingham, who has a contract until June 2025 at Signal Iduna Park, has opened the ongoing 2022-23 season in explosive form. He has netted nine goals and contributed two assists in 22 matches so far.

The Reds are currently in the market for a first-team midfielder. The club are set to lose veteran James Milner and injury-prone pair Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain and Naby Keita on free transfers next summer.

Liverpool eye move for Serie A star

As per SOS Fanta, Liverpool have identified AC Milan midfielder Ismael Bennacer as a transfer target alongside the likes of Jude Bellingham, Enzo Fernandez, and Sofyan Amrabat. Reds manager Jurgen Klopp is also said to be a huge admirer of the Algeria international.

Milan, on the other hand, are keen to offer the Algerian an improved contract. The player’s agent, Enzo Raiola, has already held talks with Milan directors Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara, as per the report.

Overall, Bennacer has scored four goals and laid out eight assists in 126 matches across all competitions for the Stefano Pioli-coached side.

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