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Race for $177m superstar takes fresh twist; PL heavyweight circles masked goal machine: Rumour Mill

With the summer transfer window creeping ever closer, two stars look set to be the headline acts in the coming months as the biggest clubs in the world attempt to snap them up for what could be nine-figure sums.

Three-horse race for teenage superstar hearts up

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham could very well become the most expensive teenager in the summer.

While Bellingham continues to produce eye-catching displays for the German heavyweights in the Bundesliga, it was his dazzling form for England at the tender age of 19 that grabbed the attention of the football world.

An academy graduate of Birmingham City, he burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old for the Blues in the Championship before earning a move to Dortmund.

But it seems almost a given he will take the next step in his career in the summer, with Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid all circling the youngster who is valued by Transfermarkt at an eye-watering $AUD177 million.

It is arguably the Reds who have been linked with Bellingham the most, but, according to David Ornstein, they could very well be the first team to drop out of the sweepstakes.

Given Bellingham is under contract with Dortmund until 2025, it means they do not need to sell the 19-year-old and would only let him go for a big price, which is why Ornstein claims it’s “increasingly unlikely” Liverpool will sign him.

Part of that is because of “the anticipated fee, the financial power of rival suitors and their reticence about entering a bidding war at the level expected.”

With Liverpool unlikely and unable to throw themselves into a bidding war, it leaves City and Madrid as the two likeliest destinations for Bellingham.

According to ESPN, it is City who has its nose in front.

The reigning Premier League champions are reportedly “growing confident” they can secure Bellingham, which would be a mighty blow to the rest of the competition.

With City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan yet to pen a new deal with the club and Bernardo Silva’s future likely to come into question in the transfer window, it could free up some funds for the club to splash on the Brit.

PL heavyweights set to dangle major carrot in chase for $111M sharpshooter

With 25 goals in 29 appearances across all competitions this season, Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has cemented himself as one of Europe’s premier sharpshooters.

The 24-year-old’s form this season is a major reason behind Napoli’s Serie A title charge as he continues to find the back of the net with relative ease.

It is his third season for the Italian side having moved to Naples in 2020 for a staggering club-record fee of $AUD111 million.

Unsurprisingly, the Nigerian international’s absurd goalscoring feats this season have not gone unnoticed by the big dogs of European football.

Premier League heavyweights Chelsea is one of those clubs who have taken a keen eye to Osimhen.

The Blues have flexed their financial muscle on countless occasions since Todd Boehly took charge and would seemingly be more than happy to splash the cash yet again for Osimhen.

But Chelsea would also reportedly be willing to dangle a carrot in the form of a player in addition to a large sum of money.

Blues winger Christian Pulisic could be included as a sweetener in the deal.

Pulisic has struggled for form and fitness this season, but has shown glimpses of his ability in patches throughout his time at the club.

Whether it would be enough to convince Napoli to sell their prized asset remains to be seen, although a large transfer fee would be difficult to turn down.

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