Separation or contract extension: Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham conundrum

Jude Bellingham (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Jude Bellingham (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /
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Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham has been the subject of heavy transfer speculation heading into the summer transfer window, with several club interested in signing him.

When Jude Bellingham joined Borussia Dortmund for 25 million pounds at the tender age of 17, the move raised some eyebrows considering just how young he was. He’d managed to do exceptionally well for Birmingham City over the course of his then, sole year in professional football; so much so that they even retired his kit number – a not so common token of appreciation, let alone for a 17 year old.

Despite the hype and general understanding that this was a talented player that BVB were dealing with, no one could have imagined just how talented he was, and the impact he would have on the first team for the years to come. Fast forward to today, and at the age of 19, Jude Bellingham has become one of the undisputed cornerstones of Borussia Dortmund’s starting XI. He has shown both exemplary maturity and world class skill that has propelled him into the spotlight as one of the most sought after players in the world.

Bellingham’s path to stardom is not the first time Borussia Dortmund have helped to nurture and facilitate. The Ruhr club have become experts in identifying talent and allowing young players to shine, which often leads to the same result: once their talents are noticed and stock climbs to the position that Bellingham has, it becomes a question of when they will leave for pastures new, and not if.

Borussia Dortmund find themselves at a similar crossroads once again. Bellingham has been courted by the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid, and while the former seems to have “dropped out of the race”, the other two are still very much keen on exploring the option of obtaining Bellingham’s services.

Amidst this tug of war are financial sums that even an established club like Dortmund can hardly ever compete with, at least numerically. The potential sum for any club looking to acquire Bellingham’s services is allegedly upwards of 150 million euros – a sum of money that could finance a substantial squad rebuild for the likes of BVB.

Even so, recent reports have emerged stating that Bellingham’s departure from Dortmund this summer is not a foregone conclusion, which would mean the club would possibly retain his services for at least another year. The club have been doing their best to tempt him into extending his contract by making him the team’s highest earner, which shows ambition on the part of Sebastian Kehl and co, an ambition that they have been slowly building up to by weathering the sales of past stars and replacing them with future world class talents.

With Dortmund now hoping to possibly retaining Bellingham’s services, one could start to imagine that they are finally looking to turn the corner on their sell for profit past. While this may indeed be the long term goal, one wonders whether Bellingham is the player that they start to try to implement this new model with. There’s some concrete arguments for both sides of the coin, so let’s break it down piece by piece.