REAL MADRID have allegedly made their first move for Jude Bellingham with a mega £123million transfer offer.
Bellingham, 19, is one of the most in-demand teenagers in world football after his exploits at the World Cup and for Borussia Dortmund.
The former Birmingham ace was back on these shores last week but suffered disappointment as his team were knocked out of the Champions League by Chelsea.
The Blues, Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City have all been linked with the midfielder.
We reported last month how Newcastle had now joined the transfer chase, while Madrid have also held a heavy interest in signing the teenage sensation.
There was a growing feeling within the LaLiga club’s camp that they “were becoming resigned to the fact that the financial muscle of the Premier League is almost unbeatable” with regards to a transfer deal.
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Then speculation mounted that they held talks with Bellingham’s father over a potential move in London last week.
Now Sport 1 are claiming that they have submitted their first offer to Dortmund for the ace worth around £123m in an attempt to usurp their rivals.
They claim that it is worth £88m up front with the rest of the package made up in incentives.
It adds that Bellingham was initially set on a move to the Bernabeu but has since had his head turned by the potential packages available from the Premier League.
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But Madrid now believe that the “whole matter can be resolved in the next international break at the end of March” where the ace is set to be part of Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers with Italy and Ukraine.
Los Blancos are allegedly preparing for the departure of midfield veterans Toni Kroos and Luka Modric at the end of the season and have identified Bellingham as their top target.
The youngster has struggled over recent weeks and has now gone a month without registering a goal or assist for the Bundesliga giants.
Sporting director Sebastian Kehl was quizzed about Bellingham's difficulties following Dortmund's 2-2 draw with Schalke over the weekend.
He said: "Maybe he's missing a goal here or there that he scored in the first half of the season.
"He works. He wants and wants. And yet there are times when that's okay. You also have to admit that a player doesn't always play at the highest level.
"But I know with him that he works hard on himself. That's where it goes."
However, Kehl then hinted at Bellingham carrying an injury after being asked specifically about the bandaging he has been wearing on his left knee.
Kehl replied: "He has been treated regularly over the past few weeks.
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"That may end up costing one or two per cent. We hope that we can get this under control quickly."
Pressed further on the knee problem, he cryptically added: "As long as he can play, everything is fine."
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