Borussia Dortmund is up in the air regarding the unclear future of Jude Bellingham, but would also be subject to economic constraints if they made immoral offers for the 19-year-old. In contrast to Erling Haaland last year, the Englishman, who was accompanied by many rumours, should be credited for one thing.
“I want clarity and planning security for the summer,” said Sebastian Kehl on Saturday evening in the “Aktuelle Sportstudio” of the ZDF. The sports director of Borussia Dortmund was asked about some explosive personal details. Sometimes he gave a specific, unequivocal answer – like the one just quoted – sometimes his explanations were less clear. Sometimes you had to read between the lines.
In the case of Jude Bellingham, who has been accompanied by all sorts of rumors for months and whose contract does not expire until 2025, there is currently “no trend” regarding his future, said Kehl. On the other hand, the captains Marco Reus and Mats Hummels, whose contracts are expiring, do – which, the 43-year-old did not reveal.
A decision for the two veterans should not be made until April and May – keyword planning security. As a result, only the beginning of March would remain. It is likely that there will be further announcements from BVB in the near future. After all, the working papers of Raphael Guerreiro, Anthony Modeste, Felix Passlack and Luca Unbehaun also end in the summer.
Clarifying Bellingham’s future, on the other hand, appears to be a stalemate. Dortmund has a comfortable negotiating position with the 19-year-old given the contract period. But Kehl also admitted that he was in a dilemma.
BVB is up in the air with Jude Bellingham
On the one hand, if the Englishman is sold, BVB can expect high transfer income in the probably three-digit million range, which could partly be put into the further restructuring of the squad. On the other hand, Bellingham brings a sporting quality that cannot be replaced individually.
But not only that: as early as summer 2021, it was discussed at this point that Bellingham is a picture-book player for BVB. With his work ethic and strength of character, he expresses exactly “what we want to live”, as Kehl said: “Great emotionality, great passion, an incredibly strong individuality, dangerous in front of goal – simply a winner who you like to have in your team .”
Borussia is hanging in the air, so to speak, because it is not clear whether Bellingham will still be part of the team next season. For years, those responsible for BVB have answered questions about open personal details by saying that they were “relaxed”. Kehl did the same on Saturday. How far the relaxation will be if the race for Bellingham starts late cannot be foreseen.
Jude Bellingham does not burden BVB like Erling Haaland
Kehl often hinted that the midfielder would have to wait until the end of the season. He has not yet had any talks “for the summer” with him and Bellingham’s family. And: “It will pick up speed at some point and we will have the discussions towards the summer.”
What BVB, who is still dancing at three sporting highs and can still achieve all of the season’s goals, plays into the cards: Bellingham is annoying and does not burden – and probably will not do so in the further course of the season. That is to his credit and another indication of his identification with the club.
At the same time last year, this was different. Erling Haaland’s unclear future caused a lot of background noise, which the player and his entourage never contained and which was magnified by the goalscorer’s frustrated interview. “In the end, the issue became a certain burden in the dressing room, in the club and in the environment,” confirmed Kehl in September Sport image and indicated that the constant hubbub surrounding Haaland overshadowed other important issues.
BVB is also subject to economic constraints at Bellingham
The balance sheet with which BVB ends the season could be decisive in the Bellingham case. A title with Dortmund, which is sweetened with a contract extension by one year for better salaries and including an exit clause for the years 2024 and 2025 – such a scenario would probably be the ideal case for Borussia to convince Bellingham to stay.
“Let’s see what’s still possible this season,” said Kehl. “Maybe that’s something that motivates such a player to continue on this path.” One thing is clear: Bellingham knows what he owes to BVB. He came to Dortmund as a highly talented second division kicker, meanwhile he is a national player, third captain and has matured into one of the most sought-after professionals in the world.
But it is just as clear: BVB is subject to economic constraints, especially after the losses during the corona pandemic, which make a sale of Bellingham indispensable if the European heavyweights make immoral offers. For the player, too, an offer from Real Madrid, for example, will ask the question: Will it come again later or is it perhaps the only way to ever switch there?
BVB: “There will also be a time after Bellingham”
Liverpool FC, which has already announced major activities on the transfer market, will be able and willing to afford Bellingham. However, the Reds may not be able to guarantee participation in the Champions League. On the other hand, it is easy to imagine that Bellingham would be a perfect LFC and Klopp player and have everything that is needed there to become one of the heads of the team after the planned upheaval – and that still in his home country.
“We will sit down calmly with the family and then see what they and the player want and prepare for all possible scenarios,” Kehl said, assuring that he would try to extend Bellingham: “Why not?”
From a sporting point of view, Dortmund can only hope that “the oldest 19-year-old player in the world”, as coach Edin Terzic called him, will remain clear in the coming months and, together with the club, the permanent and certainly worsening rumors skilfully moderated. BVB will not be able to replace him if he leaves. However, with his appearance, Bellingham has clearly shown what type of player the “new BVB” needs.
Regardless of its further future, BVB will be able to record the cooperation with Bellingham as a success story – at the latest in financial terms. After all, Kehl is also certain: “There will also be a time after Bellingham.”
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