Gerrard’s ‘offer’ to Bellingham after Liverpool pull out of deal

Klopp admits defeat in Liverpool’s pursuit of Bellingham

Steven Gerrard once offered to personally fly to Dortmund to convince Jude Bellingham to sign for Liverpool – but his efforts have ultimately proved unsuccessful. The Reds have reportedly pulled out of a move for England’s best prospect, likely leaving iconic former captain Gerrard very disappointed.

Gerrard – Bellingham’s boyhood hero – was desperate for Liverpool to sign the 19-year-old this summer. At one point, the Anfield outfit seemed to be leading the race to complete a big-money transfer from Borussia Dortmund.

But wide-ranging reports suggest that Liverpool will now pursue other targets after realising that Bellingham could be too expensive. A fee potentially exceeding £100million would wipe out most of the summer budget of a club that requires a huge rebuild when the transfer window reopens.

That will disappoint Gerrard, who had jokingly offered to personally fly to Dortmund to convince Bellingham to make the move to Merseyside. He told BT Sport earlier this year: “I am sure Jude Bellingham is bright enough to look at Liverpool, who have one of the top five managers in the world. They are building a new stand, they have world-class facilities. I want Jude Bellingham at Liverpool.

“I’ll fly out to Dortmund and take him out for a nice dinner! I think it’s important to stay in England to continue his growth and development. Just get him to send his diary to me!”

Jurgen Klopp all but ruled out a transfer for Bellingham on Friday. He amusingly likened the scenario to a child asking for a Ferrari for Christmas.

“We cannot have six players in a summer, everyone for £100m. We are not children. When you ask a five-year-old what they want for Christmas and they say a Ferrari, you wouldn’t say ‘oh, that’s a good idea’,” the German joked.

“You would say ‘no, that is too expensive and anyway, you cannot drive it’. If this kid is then unhappy their whole life because he cannot get a Ferrari, it would be a really sad life.

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“You look what you can do, and you work with that. What we need and what we want, we try absolutely everything to get it, but there are moments when you have to accept that this or that is not possible for us – you step aside and do different stuff.”

Gerrard said in March that he believed Bellingham was further ahead in his development than the Liverpool legend was when he was 19. Speaking to the midfielder after England’s 2-0 win over Ukraine, he said: “Well let me tell you, you’re a lot further ahead than I was at your age. So you’re going in the right direction, that’s for sure.”

It remains unclear where Bellingham could end up this summer. With Real Madrid not in desperate need for a midfielder, another season at Dortmund has not been ruled out.

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