Chelsea reportedly view Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham as a potential alternative to Declan Rice, albeit for a move in the summer of 2022.
According to a report by Eurosport, Jude Bellingham has emerged as a possible alternative to Declan Rice for Chelsea. The Premier League heavyweights, though, will only make a move for the Borussia Dortmund prodigy in the summer of 2022, if they do decide to prioritise his transfer.
Jude Bellingham has had a stunning rise to fame in the nascent stages of his career. Still in his teens, the prodigious English midfielder has already secured a move to one of the biggest clubs in the world – Borussia Dortmund – on the back of a stunning breakthrough 2019/20 campaign with Birmingham.
Bundesliga Debut ✅
Champions League Debut ✅
England U21 Debut ✅
England NT 🔜
Congrats to Jude Bellingham on getting his first #ThreeLions call-up!
What a year it’s been so far! 🌟🏴 pic.twitter.com/6eBANSHOYF
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) November 10, 2020
Bellingham seems to have settled in quickly at Dortmund, having already amassed 11 appearances for the German giants. His quick progress at the Signal Iduna Park has also earned him his maiden England cap this month. Now, the highly-rated teenager has emerged on the radar of Chelsea.
Chelsea enjoyed a busy summer this year, with Frank Lampard welcoming the arrival of a number of superstars who have completely transformed his squad. However, one area that was not really addressed was midfield, considering Lampard already had the likes of N’Golo Kante, Mateo Kovacic and Jorginho at his disposal.
In addition, Ross Barkley and youngsters like Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have also provided the Chelsea manager with enough options in midfield. And, despite the fact that Loftus-Cheek and Barkley have been hauled off on loan, Chelsea’s midfield has appeared to be quite stable, with Billy Gilmour also a long-term option.
Even so, the Blues have been keen on bolstering their midfield unit, with Declan Rice reported to be their priority. However, the former Chelsea youth player’s extravagant price tag is giving the west Londoners second thoughts over his pursuit, especially with Kante enjoying a fine revival this term.
However, it is understandable why Chelsea would still be in the hunt for a midfielder, with Jorginho’s future uncertain after his agent Joao Santos hinted that the Italian international could follow Maurizio Sarri to his next club. To that end, Rice is a viable target, with Jude Bellingham now emerging as a possible alternative.
While not a like-for-like alternative for former Chelsea youth star Rice, the presence of Bellingham, who was linked with a move to Manchester United before he chose Dortmund, would allow Kante to be exclusively used in his favoured holding midfield role.
A move for Bellingham, though, will only be executed in 2022, as per the report, while Rice’s transfer – if it goes through – would be completed this summer. What now remains to be seen is if Chelsea turn their attention towards Bellingham for good, or if Rice remains their priority. Till then, they will continue to monitor the progress of the 17-year-old prodigy.