Although it’s certain that Jude Bellingham’s future lies away from the Bundesliga, the question that continues to trouble everyone’s mind is what team will he play for after the ongoing season.
For now, the likes of Real Madrid and Liverpool are thought to be the frontrunners. The two European giants were credited with a strong interest, but Chelsea’s late arrival in the fray might change things.
For now, no team has made direct contact with the player, although it has been learned that Madrid initiated contacts through intermediaries whose primary job is the convince the young midfielder not to renew his contract with Dortmund, which runs until 2025.
Once that is done, the Bundesliga team will be forced to part ways with the 19-year-old and at a price that would be rather affordable for the suitors.
Now, although several outlets have claimed that Dortmund will be willing to listen to offers worth €120 million for Bellingham, a fresh report from Defensa Central is saying that his market value will be determined by his performance in the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The report further claims that both Liverpool and Chelsea want to push Madrid out of the equation as they wish to move forward with the deal as early as possible.
For Madrid, however, signing the 19-year-old is said to be the priority and they consider his acquisition as the cherry on the cake, given the longevity he brings to the table.
While they do have the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni and Eduardo Camavinga who represent a great future, the recent rumour of Toni Kroos’ potential retirement might force them to go all out for Bellingham next summer.
But before rushing into this acquisition, the team from the capital city will want to see how he performs at the World Cup so that they can settle on a price-point which they will feel comfortable shelling out for the England international.
Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report
Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.
The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.
Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.
This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.
Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia
Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.
With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.
This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.
Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.
What are Ancelotti’s other options?
Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.
The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.
Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.
Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.