John Barnes discusses Jude Bellingham’s future and other midfield options

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It is highly anticipated that Liverpool’s midfield department will undergo a much needed surgery as Jurgen Klopp seeks to fasten his Liverpool squads transition. To discuss the recent transfer rumours surrounding Liverpool and some of the midfielders they have been linked to, we sat down with club icon John Barnes

Is Jude Bellingham to Liverpool truly off?

On Monday morning, the Jude Bellingham and Liverpool transfer saga took a dramatic turn when David Ornstein, the transfer expert for The Athletic, stated that it appears improbable for Liverpool to sign Bellingham this summer. Ornstein cited the expected price and the financial strength of competitors like Real Madrid and Manchester City as the reasons behind Liverpool’s uncertainty. Although Liverpool’s chances of acquiring Bellingham are not entirely closed, the likelihood seems to be decreasing. Despite this, Barnes, who is a prominent admirer of Bellingham, has supported Liverpool’s potential signing of the young midfielder. He acknowledges, however, that Liverpool’s rivals possess considerable financial resources.

“If another club is going to pay him and Dortmund more than what Liverpool can pay it’s not Liverpool’s fault.” 

“If teams want to pay £200m for Jude Bellingham Liverpool shouldn’t pay that if they can’t afford that.” 

“If you can’t financially compete with the likes of Paris Saint Germain, Real Madrid or teams like that, why should the fans be upset about that?” 

“What you really want is players that really want to come and play for Liverpool. Not for the money because they will get paid well.” 

“If he wants to go to the club that will pay him the most money then it won’t be Liverpool but I’m sure they will do all they can to get him.” 

Is Ryan Gravenberch a Jude Bellingham alternative?

Ryan Gravenberch is being considered as a possible alternative to Jude Bellingham by Liverpool if the deal for Bellingham does not come to fruition. Gravenberch possesses excellent ball control skills and embodies the hard-working midfield prototype that is characteristic of a player under Jurgen Klopp’s management. Despite a promising debut season at Ajax, he transferred to Bayern Munich last summer for £16m but has had minimal playing opportunities for the Bavarian club. Barnes, who is also an admirer of Gravenberch, believes that he would be a valuable acquisition for Liverpool.

“He’s a good young player and we need midfield players in my opinion so that would definitely be a good signing for us.” 

“There are also a lot of other targets out there and a lot of clubs want them.” 

“If Gravenberch or Bellingham don’t come to Liverpool fans shouldn’t accuse Liverpool of not being ambitious.”

“Ideally you want players that want to come to Liverpool rather than players coming to Liverpool because you didn’t land your first target.” 

Could Gavi be set for a move to Anfield?

Gavi, the midfielder from Barcelona, has been making headlines this week, with reports linking him to a move to Liverpool. Gavi has been touted as another Bellingham alternative for Liverpool. It has been reported that due to Barcelona’s recent financial struggles and excessive spending habits, a court ruling has mandated the reversal of Gavi’s registration as a senior player. Although Barnes regards Gavi highly, he believes that there is currently no need for a creative midfielder like Gavi on the Liverpool team.

“Is he a defensive minded midfielder who can get up and down the pitch and tackle?” 

“I don’t think he’s that kind of player. Do we need another attacking, creative midfielder or has our issue been stopping other teams from scoring goals?” 

“Players become available and fans and pundits think they should join Liverpool rather than thinking about what Liverpool need.” 

“He’s a very good player but Liverpool need defensive midfield players and defenders.”

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