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Chelsea are believed to be in the market for a new midfielder this month and Jude Bellingham has emerged as a target. With N'Golo Kante and Jorginho set to leave at the end of the season once their contracts expire, Graham Potter wants to bolster his options in the middle of the park.
football.london understands that the Blues informed Benfica that are willing to pay Enzo Fernandez's £105million release clause before a move collapsed earlier this month. The 21-year-old was said to be keen on a move to Stamford Bridge, but the west Londoners' desire to pay the clause in instalments rather than a one-off sum proved to be a significant issue.
After failing to secure the Argentina international's signature, Chelsea are yet to launch another move to sign a different midfielder. The Blues' pursuit of Fernandez appears to have granted other clubs the chance to leapfrog them in the race to sign Bellingham, though of course he does still remains an option.
READ MORE: Chelsea told how to beat Liverpool to Jude Bellingham transfer in Premier League warning
So, with that being said, footbll.london have taken a look at the latest reports as Europe's biggest clubs plot moves for Bellingham in the summer.
The Daily Star write that Bellingham has rejected the latest offer from Dortmund, who are desperately trying to keep their star. The German side are resigned to losing him over the summer though after he turned down £180,000 per week, double his current wages.
Talks with Liverpool
According to Sky Sports, the England international's father is in contact with Liverpool. The report states that Jurgen Klopp is eager to wrap up a deal, with Borussia Dortmund said to not stand in his way should he push for an exit.
Bellingham's January timeline has been revealed by Bundesliga expert Jan Aage Fjortoft ahead of a month not expected to yield any tangible changes to his situation.
With a summer deal much more likely Bellingham has now returned to Dortmund ahead of a mid-season training camp in Marbella. The Bundesliga is on its winter break, meaning there is no competitive action for for the teenager until January 22.
Real Madrid January plan
Despite Carlo Ancelotti saying that Madrid won't be making any deals in January ESPN report that Los Blancos see the window as a chance to speed up proceedings ahead of a move in the summer.
It is said that they could table a €100million (£88.6million) bid in order to buy him. Although he is seen as a major target, there is no intention to make 'crazy' offers.
Real Madrid make Bellingham priority amid Liverpool snub
Real Madrid will prioritise a deal for Jude Bellingham in 2023, with the midfielder set to choose Los Blancos over Liverpool, according to GOAL. Bellingham has always been top of Madrid's list, regardless of their interest in the Benfica midfielder.
The plan would see Bellingham line up alongside the likes of Aurelien Tchouameni, Eduardo Camavinga and Federico Valverde, creating a world-class midfield for the next decade to match the heights of Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Secret £60m clause
Jude Bellingham could be on the move for just £60million if the sensational reported secret release clause is genuine, and that would be bad news for Chelsea in their hopes of signing the midfielder.
Dortmund want at least £100m - possibly even more - for the England ace. However, according to the Daily Mail, Bellingham's Dortmund contract allegedly has a shock £60m release clause included.
That would make the Three Lions World Cup ace totally affordable for the clubs interested, but Chelsea could lose out as a result. Should Chelsea trigger that apparent release clause, it may still not be enough to convince the youngster to head to Stamford Bridge.
Jurgen Klopp has laughed off the chances of Liverpool signing Bellingham in January. The Reds are also after the 19-year-old as they attempt to deal with midfield issues of their own, but the German manager isn't expecting much to happen over the winter.
He has a good relationship with Dortmund having managed them in a successful run before moving to Anfield, but Klopp admitted deals of the size of Bellingham aren't easily done.
He said: "[Laughs] In January?, I'm the wrong person. Are you from the buying side or the selling side? I'm the wrong person to ask that, you'll have to ask other people about that."
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was full of praise for Bellingham earlier this season when his side faced Dortmund in the Champions League. The Spaniard told reporters: "Borussia Dortmund is the perfect place for young talent to come.
"Maybe if Jude Bellingham was in England he would go to City, United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal or Tottenham, maybe he would not get the minutes. The best thing for a young player to be better is to play minutes. He was 17 when he arrived but it was not just about his quality, how he was leading, his kicking, going to the referee.
"This guy was something special in terms of his mentality. Now he is 19 and he is already one of the captains. The quality, everybody knows it. The whole package is really good."
Borussia Dortmund are said to have set a price tag of £150million for Bellingham's signature in the transfer window, however that could be reduced further. That's because the Sun report that the German club are willing to accept as low as £83million if they receive the transfer funds in one up front payment.
Jude Bellingham is Chelsea's top target for the coming transfer windows, according to a report from the Evening Standard. The Blues aren't the only interested party though as Premier League rivals Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Spanish giants Real Madrid are said to be monitoring a move.
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