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Ancelotti plays down Real Madrid pursuit of Jude Bellingham

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By Martin Graham | 9th Jan 2023

In typical Carlo Ancelotti fashion, the veteran manager has downplayed any links between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham.

Los Merengues have been the forerunners for the 19-year-old Englishman’s signature and during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, news broke that the former Birmingham City midfielder fancied a move to Spain after his contract at Dortmund expired at the end of the next season.

Bellingham, who is also the target of all the big English clubs, is seen as a long term replacement for Toni Kroos as Madrid look to revamp their ageing midfield spine. However, Ancelotti, who firmly stated that Madrid will not be carrying out any transfer business in January, has also stated that he will ‘stick to what he’s got’ in the summer amid all the Bellingham links.

Asked about some of the hottest prospects coming through in Europe, Ancelotti, who is an admittedly big admirer of Bellingham, said: “There are a lot of youngsters, like Enzo [Fernandez], and a lot of midfielders who are coming through, some of them Spanish.

“Jude Bellingham is one of them, but I’ll stick with my midfielders, who are very good, especially the youngsters, like Valverde, Camavinga and Tchouameni. We have a lot of young players.”

This opens the door for Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea and also Paris Saint-Germain, who have recently been reported to be sounding out a move for the 19-year-old.

Ancelotti is known for being stoic with his transfer decisions and is usually rarely interested in more than one player at a time. However, Madrid are known to engage in our bases of their own despite the manager’s wants for a plethora of reasons including branding, and Bellingham, who is one of the most valuable youngsters in the world at the moment, fits the bill perfectly.

Ancelotti’s comments may also make Bellingham listen to Michael Owen, who recently called on the young midfielder to bring his talents back home to England instead of remaining abroad.

Owen, who enjoyed success with Real Madrid in his youth, said: “I think he has to come back to the Premier League,” Owen told the Daily Telegraph.

“He has done very well in Germany and made that decision to leave Birmingham when he was very young so he would get the opportunity to play. Dortmund have a massive asset on their hands.

“The Premier League is the biggest and best league in the world, it is just a question of which club can afford him? There aren’t many around because he is a special, special talent. He’s going to be one of the best around.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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