Liverpool draw up five-man shortlist for Jude Bellingham alternative

Liverpool have decided to look for alternatives after reportedly being priced out of a move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham.

The Reds have been long-time admirers of the English midfielder, but they have now pulled the plug on their pursuit with the consent of manager Jurgen Klopp.

According to German journalist Florian Plettenberg, Klopp has identified five alternative midfield targets for the summer, including Declan Rice, Moises Caicedo, Nicolo Barella, Ryan Gravenberch and Matheus Nunes.

Having rejected multiple renewal offers from West Ham United, Rice seems destined for a move to a big club this summer.

Available for around £75 million, Rice is also on the wishlist of Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea, which makes it difficult for Liverpool.

Similarly, Brighton & Hove Albion’s Caicedo is being tracked by top clubs, and the Reds would be required to pay a large sum for his services.

Arsenal came close to signing him in the winter transfer window, but the Seagulls turned down their bid worth £70 million to keep hold of him.

The Gunners – alongside Chelsea – are still interested in the Ecuadorian midfielder, who penned a new contract with Brighton last month until 2027 with a considerable pay rise.

Barella looks as a feasible target for the Merseysideiders as Inter Milan could be forced to sell some of their prized assets in the summer due to their financial crisis.

The Italian midfielder has been one of the consistent performers for the Nerazzurri and was also on target in last night’s Champions League quarter-final clash against Benfica.

However, Barella is said to be committed to the Nerazzuuri at the moment, while the Italian giants also value him as a key asset for the club’s long-term plans.

LISBON, PORTUGAL – APRIL 11: Nicolo Barella of FC Internazionale celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal first leg match between SL Benfica and FC Internazionale at Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on April 11, 2023 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Gravenberch’s time at Bayern Munich hasn’t gone as planned, having struggled for game time in his debut season.

The Dutch youngster’s exit rumours have cropped up recently, with Arsenal registering their interest in him.

The Reds also can offer Gravenberch an escape route to revive his career if the Bavarians decide to sell him in the summer.

Lastly, Matheus Nunes’ rumours of a potential move to Anfield have been doing rounds for a while as the Reds see the Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder as one of the top targets for the summer. 

Apart from these names, Klopp’s men are also keen on Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount, who wants to leave Stamford Bridge this summer, having opted against an extension.

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