The race for Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham began as a two-horse battle between Real Madrid and Liverpool. Both clubs were said to be willing to break the bank for the young midfielder given their need to replenish the middle of the park.
Manchester City’s entry into the equation completely flipped the situation on its head. The arrival of Pep Guardiola’s side almost instantly upped the German club’s economic demands for Bellingham’s transfer. As a result, the Reds were forced to cool their pursuit of the star and look at alternatives, leaving Real Madrid and Manchester City in a bidding war.
Former Tottenham Hotspur manager and Premier League legend Harry Redknapp spoke to Beyond the Pitch earlier this week where he gave an interesting update on the midfielder’s situation.
“I’ve heard from a very, very close source to Jude Bellingham that he wants to go to Real Madrid,” he said.
Los Blancos place the English prodigy as their top target and have discarded other options including Gabriel Veiga. While the European Champions are willing to splash the cash, they have a certain number in mind they are reluctant to cross.
The bidding war between the two UCL semifinalists could thus see the entire Bellingham saga postponed by another year. With his price reaching astronomical figures, staying in Germany for one more season is now a real option.
In 28 Bundesliga appearances for the men in yellow and black, the 19-year-old has scored five goals and provided four assists. He also averages 1.1 key passes per game and has created eight big chances so far.
The coming weeks will be crucial in deciding the youngster’s future, especially if he is to join his dream club this summer. It remains to be seen if the UCL semifinal clash between Real Madrid and Manchester City plays any part in his decision.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.