Borussia Dortmund have warned Liverpool that they believe they can convince Jude Bellingham to stay at the club.
Liverpool have been keeping track of Bellingham’s impressive performances in the Bundesliga and have been linked with a move for the 18-year-old this summer.
Dortmund, meanwhile, are set to lose Erling Haaland at the end of the season as the striker is on the verge of completing his €75 million (£64.2m) transfer to Manchester City.
But while Dortmund have been unable to prevent Haaland’s exit due to the 21-year-old’s release clause, the Bundesliga club’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke insists they are in a better position to keep Bellingham.
‘That’s the only way for us because when a player performs very well, we have to fight against the big, big, big clubs with the oligarchs and the Arabian states at their back,’ Watzke told CNN.
‘And this fight we cannot win, but we can win a fight over an 18-year-old player, like Jude Bellingham, because this player loves to play at Borussia Dortmund because we have always 80,000 spectators, it’s a very good atmosphere and the club knows how to manage young players.
‘That’s our way and, okay, we have a good department who are scouting young players every day, but it’s also very important if you have the player here, you must develop him and I think that works… most of the time, it works.’
Watzke is also adamant that Dortmund will find a replacement for Haaland, who has scored 85 goals in 88 appearances since his move to the Bundesliga in December 2019.
‘It’s a decision for Erling,’ said Watzke.
‘Erling, you know, has an exit clause and he must decide if we wants to take this exit clause or not and he has time to give us his decision. When the time is ready, he will do it.
‘But we [Dortmund] have played football for 113 years, and for 111 years, we played without Erling Haaland. We had Robert Lewandowski and then he left us in 2014, but we played football in ’15, ’16, ’17 until now.
‘Then next came Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and then Erling Haaland and you can be sure if Erling takes a decision to leave us, we will find the next [player] 100 per cent.’
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