Liverpool have perfect welcoming gift for Jude Bellingham ready

Jurgen Klopp reviews Liverpool's win v Spurs

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Liverpool have the perfect welcoming gift for Jude Bellingham if they win the race to sign the Borussia Dortmund superstar next summer. The Reds are reportedly leading the chase for Bellingham as they ‘forge a close relationship’ with his camp and could offer him the ultimate prize to sweeten the deal.

Jurgen Klopp is expected to prioritise signing a marquee midfielder at the end of the season after missing out on Aurelien Tchouameni earlier this year. And Bellingham is set to be at the centre of a transfer battle between some of Europe’s biggest heavyweights, including Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid.

But Liverpool can offer the 19-year-old midfielder his dream shirt if he opts for a blockbuster switch to Anfield. He has previously made it clear that he admires the number eight shirt and, interestingly, particularly that worn by Reds legend Steven Gerrard during his memorable playing days.

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After his inclusion in England manager Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad last summer, Bellingham featured on the ‘Lions’ Den’ YouTube series during preparations for the tournament. When asked which footballer in history he would want to swap shirts with if he had the chance, he admitted his love for Gerrard and particularly the number eight shirt.

He replied: “Stevie G, easily, to be fair. In fact, no, it is not easy. I think he or [Wayne] Rooney are definitely close. But I think them two by quite a way. But I think I would go with Gerrard, though, just because of the number eight [shirt]. [He played in] a similar position to me, so yeah, I would probably go with him. I love Stevie G, to be fair.”

His addition of United great Wayne Rooney could give Liverpool’s north-west foes a glimmer of hope if Erik ten Hag targets Bellingham as his next statement signing as manager. But Jurgen Klopp will be confident of luring the Three Lions international to Merseyside, especially if Liverpool turn their Premier League season around and secure a top-four spot.

Naby Keita currently bears the number eight shirt at Anfield, but the injury-prone midfielder is expected to leave on a free transfer next summer. And it would be fitting if Liverpool named his number’s successor as one of Europe’s most exciting young midfielders in the same window.

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