Jude Bellingham controls the ball during a German league match this season with Borussia Dortmund.Bernd Thissen (DPA/Europa Press)
Real Madrid has reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for the incorporation of English midfielder Jude Bellingham, 19. According to the amounts published by the German club, the transfer will be closed around 103 million euros plus an amount in variables that could reach, at most, 30% in the next six seasons. The white entity confirmed the agreement (advanced by The Athletic), although it pointed out that the signing had not yet been finalized. The player's yes already had it weeks ago and only needed to finish the operation with the German team.
These figures will make the British media the second most expensive signing in the history of Madrid, only behind Eden Hazard (115 million in 2019), and ahead of Gareth Bale (101 in 2013) and Cristiano Ronaldo (94 in 2009). Bellingham will be Madrid's first addition after the departures of Karim Benzema, Marco Asensio, Hazard and Mariano.
The midfielder, named the best player in the Bundesliga, has multiplied by more than three his value in the market in just three courses: from the 30 million that were paid for 2020 to the current 103 more variable. One more example of the successful business of the Dortmund factory to buy well and take a cut in a short time, and the great leap in the rapid growth of the medium. In the summer of the pandemic, he became the most expensive 17-year-old footballer when the German club bought him for 30 million from Birmingham, where he had only played one campaign in the English Second. Enough for them to retire their jersey with the number 22 and reach a record transfer for their age. Now he has placed himself in the second step of the Real Madrid table. In the last World Cup, he was a fixture in Gareth Southgate's plans despite being the youngest of the selection. "He's going to be the best midfielder in the world," his compatriot Phil Foden said of him in Qatar. In the last two seasons he has been the Dortmund player with the most minutes and the recently finished one closed it with 14 goals and seven assists in 42 games. He was not due to injury, yes, in the dramatic last episode of 10 days ago, when his team threw the Bundesliga in the final day at home against Mainz (2-2).
The acquisition of Jude Bellingham at the Bernabeu means another step in the so-called "transition" of the white team in midfield. Two summers ago he took Eduardo Camavinga (30 million, 20 years); the past, with Aurélien Tchouameni (80 million, 23 years); And now, with English, who in three weeks will turn 20. In the midst of this rejuvenating process, Fede Valverde (24) earned the status of starter in Carlo Ancelotti's lineups.
These four must be the leaders of a plot that still hosts Toni Kroos (33) and Luka Modric (37), and awaits the decision on his future of Dani Ceballos (26), who has not yet communicated if he accepts the renewal offer raised by the entity. With him, today there are seven pieces in the center of the field. The administration of all of them, especially the balances established between the veterans and so far non-negotiable (Kroos and Modric) and the youngsters, will be one of the most sensitive points to legislate by the Italian coach in the next campaign.
In the meetings held in recent dates to design the immediate future, Carletto already knows, according to this newspaper, that one of his missions in the course that starts in August will be to take another step to that vaunted transition. Both the German and the Croatian agreed with the club a few weeks ago to extend his contract for another season.
The signing of Bellingham, which at first seemed complicated by the interest of the wealthy Premier, began to clear when Liverpool abandoned the bid due to its high price. The withdrawal net was staged by Jürgen Klopp last April with a speech very much his own. "I never understand why we constantly talk about things that, theoretically, we can't have. We can't have six players in the summer of £100 million [each]. We are not children. You wouldn't ask a five-year-old, 'What do you want for Christmas?' If he tells you he wants a Ferrari, you wouldn't say it's a good idea; You'd say it's too expensive and you can't drive it. If this kid is unhappy all his life because he can't get a Ferrari, it would be a sad life. Whatever we need and want, we will try absolutely everything to get it, but there are times when you have to accept that it is not possible, step aside and do different things.
Resolved the signing of Bellingham, an issue that was already taken for granted weeks ago by the agreement with the player and the progress of negotiations with Dortmund, all eyes are still on the front. The departure of Karim Benzema forces a hiring of draft at the tip of the attack, in which Harry Kane, of Tottenham, occupies a preferential place in the aspirations of Real Madrid.
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