‘Liverpool should hijack big Arsenal transfer for Bellingham alternative’

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia
  • 2 May 2023 12:45 BST
  • 2 min read
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool, 2022/23
© ProShots

Ex-Liverpool striker Michael Owen has told his former club to pursue a transfer for Declan Rice if a move for Jude Bellingham is off the table this summer.

Liverpool are expected to spend heavily in revitalising their midfield after a disappointing campaign where their lack of investment and depth in the middle of the park was on display throughout.

Article continues under the video

Bellingham was expected to be Liverpool’s top target this summer but Dortmund’s asking price of more than £100 million has prompted Jurgen Klopp’s side to seemingly pull out of the race despite having positioned themselves as frontrunners for his signature.

BLAME GAME: Klopp at fault for Bellingham failure, claims Jamie Carragher

The 19-year-old is now expected to join Real Madrid or Manchester City but Owen believes Liverpool should not lower their ambitions just because their top target may be off the table.

When asked what Liverpool should do if they cannot get the best, Owen replied: “Go and get the next best, try to get Rice or get someone else who is of a top standard.

“All of this "just buy and get rid of players", I don't get it and it's music to my ears that someone else has said the same.”

Liverpool set for midfield revamp

Liverpool had been reluctant to spend heavily in midfield in recent years, hinting that they were conserving their resources on a move for Bellingham, who is believed to be keen on a move to Anfield.

The Reds opted only to bring in Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus last summer, a move which ultimately backfired, with the Brazilian playing just 13 minutes due to injury.

Consequently, Klopp has been forced to rely Jordan Henderson and Fabinho as his main midfield duo, with Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago Alcantara all injured for significant parts of the season.

OUTGOINGS: The players set to leave Liverpool on a free this summer

Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain and James Milner are expected to leave Liverpool in the summer when their contracts expire, meaning the club are looking to bring in multiple midfielders to replace them.

Rice is thought to be Arsenal’s top priority, with the West Ham captain entering the final year of his contract, but a move is not thought to be advanced, meaning Liverpool could swoop in and beat their rivals to the punch if they chose to do so.

Never miss the next big transfer!

Get the latest transfer insights and analyses directly in your mailbox.