In what could be one of the biggest and most expensive transfers of the upcoming summer transfer window, Borussia Dortmund’s star midfielder Jude Bellingham has been heavily linked to Real Madrid. With a figure upwards of £100m being reportedly demanded by BVB for the Englishman, the La Liga giants have all but agreed personal terms with the Englishman, and all that’s now remaining is for the two clubs to agree a fee.
It has been reported that Carlo Ancelotti’s side are likely to be respectful for Dortmund and want to wait for the Bundesliga season to finish before making their move for Bellingham who was also on the radar of Manchester City and Liverpool. Real Madrid have now jumped to the front of the queue however, the 19-year-old has been warned against joining the La Liga giants by BVB legend Karl-Heinz Riedle.
Riedle who played for Dortmund from 1993-97, winning two Bundesliga titles, two Supercups as well as the UEFA Champions League (then called the European Cup) has warned Bellingham against joining Real Madrid citing the example of his compatriot Jadon Sancho who also enjoyed plenty of success in Germany.
Riedle pointed out how Sancho’s career has stalled since joining Manchester United in 2021 and has failed to live up to expectations at Old Trafford.
The 57-year-old who also won the 1990 FIFA World Cup with West Germany feels that winning the Bundesliga title with Dortmund might convince Bellingham to stay put at Westfalenstadion.
“I don’t want to talk about players leaving us. I mean Jude (Bellingham) is an incredibly good player, and if he goes at the end of the season, okay, we will see it,” Riedle replied to a News18.com query during a select media interaction.
“Then it’s like the same story, like with (Erling) Haaland or with other players, we had in the past that we have to substitute him and find another Bellingham, or find another Haaland. But in the moment I think their whole focus, even for Jude Bellingham, if we win this title and he will lift up the trophy at this time, maybe he’ll think, okay, this could be another fantastic thing,” he added.
The veteran further stated, “Maybe we can win other stuff, even with Borussia Dortmund. For example, it didn’t work for Jadon Sancho, he was an incredible player for us, but when he joined Manchester United he is now in the middle of nowhere. He’s not playing. He’s not happy. The money is also good, I think Dortmund offered him a lot of money.”
Riedle pointed out that given Bellingham is just 19, he can win more trophies with Dortmund before then going on to leave for a big club like Real Madrid.
“So why not stay another year or 2 years? Grow up? He’s still 19. He has the whole future in front of him. But in the moment I think the focus is only on winning this (Bundesliga) title, be ready or be prepared for Saturday (against Mainz), and that’s it, and not more.
BVB are currently two points ahead of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga standings. Edin Terzic’s side is on the verge of rewriting history as they could win the league for the first time since 2011-12, ending the Bavarian dominance. The Allianz Arena outfit have won the league title in each of the last ten seasons after Dortmund last lifted the coveted trophy.
When quizzed about how important it would be for the Bundesliga to have a new champion after a decade’s dominance from Bayern Munich, Riedle stated it would further help BVB grow as a team and remain competitive at a time when it could be ‘boring’ to have the Bavarians lifting the league every season.
“If you follow Bundesliga it’s quite boring if you have 10 times Bayern Munich in the front. So now we have hopefully, we still have to go this long way on Saturday. But if we can win it, then I think it will. We have a tour in the summer, in America, so it’s always something really special,” replied the BVB legend
“If you come like a title holder to another country, you know the awareness of our brand, BVB would grow not only in Asia but grow in America and all other places. So I think its very important to be successful and especially after such a long time. So everybody was a little bit bored not winning any title for the last 10 years,” Riedle concluded.
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