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Liverpool report: Jude Bellingham expected to join, as Naby Keita's contract ends

Liverpool target Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund reacts as he warms up for the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund at Europa-Park Stadion on August 12, 2022 in Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
(Image credit: Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Liverpool will sign Jude Bellingham for Borussia Dortmund as a direct replacement for Naby Keita.

That's according to reports that claim that the Bundesliga-based Stourbridge teen sensation is set for Anfield, despite rumoured interest from the likes of Real Madrid. Bellingham has been linked with Liverpool since he moved to Germany.

Jurgen Klopp has a midfield quandary, however. Contract talks with Naby Keita – another midfielder who moved from the German top tier – have stalled, meaning the Guinean could leave for nothing next summer. The Reds originally paid RB Leipzig over £50 million for Keita and waited a year for him to join the club.

Naby Keita of Liverpool runs with the ball during the pre-season friendly match between RB Leipzig and Liverpool FC at Red Bull Arena on July 21, 2022 in Leipzig, Germany.

Naby Keita during a preseason friendly against his former side, RB Leipzig (Image credit: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Now, MailOnline (opens in new tab) says that Jurgen Klopp is prepared to lose Keita for free with Bellingham becoming the direct replacement, capable of operating in the interior role in the German's 4-3-3 formation.

The 19-year-old could even take Keita's squad number, the No.8, which has strong connotations with Merseyside legend Steven Gerrard. Bellingham wears the No.22 for Dortmund, having also done so for Birmingham City – who famously retired the shirt number when they sold him to BVB.

Klopp is reportedly looking at a number of short-term options for his midfield but none have satisfied him. 

The Reds have reportedly (opens in new tab) made an offer to Barcelona star Gavi, while the Liverpool Echo (opens in new tab) claimed that Aurelien Tchouameni was on the radar before his eventual move to European champions, Real Madrid. In Italy, Calciomercato has linked former Arsenal star Ismael Bennacer with a move. 

Jurgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool FC speaks during the pre-match press conference ahead of the Standard Chartered Singapore Trophy between Liverpool and Crystal Palace at National Stadium on July 14, 2022 in Singapore.

Jurgen Klopp has a number of midfield targets that he is pursuing. (Image credit: Suhaimi Abdullah/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Liverpool have signed Fabio Carvalho on free transfer from Fulham over the summer – and though the youngster has played predominantly as a No.10 and a wide man for the west Londoners, he may well feature in midfield for Klopp. Harvey Elliott, likewise, has slotted into the centre of midfield when he has been fit.

The Reds are dealing with Thiago Alcantara's injury problems, with the Spaniard sidelined at current, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also on the treatment table.

More Liverpool stories

Liverpool's 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Monday night is still making headlines. Joachim Andersen has faced death threats after he was headbutted by Darwin Nunez, while Jurgen Klopp has said the Uruguayan will learn from the incident. Virgil van Dijk says his team-mate will always be backed

Klopp says that he's not bothered about other clubs' transfer business and has ruled out any more signings this summer. Despite that insistence, Arsenal are chasing Reds target Yeremy Pino and could force the Merseysiders to move – as Tottenham did when they targeted Luis Diaz in January – while Marcelo Brozovic of Inter Milan has been rumoured, too.

Recently, teenager Harvey Elliott secured a new contract

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