Liverpool could have signed Jude Bellingham for just £9,000 but now face paying £130million for him.
The Reds are one of a host of top European clubs linked with a move for the England midfielder, who has become a key player for Borussia Dortmund since moving to Germany two years ago. With Bellingham entering the final two years of his contract at the end of the season, the Bundesliga giants have reportedly slapped a £130million price tag on their teenage starlet.
However, Liverpool could have snapped him up for a fraction of the price after Bellingham had a trial with the club almost a decade ago.
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According to The Athletic, Bellingham had a two-day trial with Liverpool when he was playing for Birmingham City's Under-11s and visited Kirkby with his parents.
It is understood that he made a lasting impression on the club's staff with his playing ability and maturity during the trial. As well as training with his age group, Bellingham and his family were also given a tour of the academy facilities.
Liverpool hoped that they would be able to convince his parents to relocate to the city, which is a two-hour drive from Birmingham, and had even picked out a school for him to attend.
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Signing him at the time would have only cost the club £9,000 in compensation, with Bellingham now valued at almost 15,000 times that amount.
Bellingham has also remained coy on a potential move, telling reporters when asked about his future: "The club [Dortmund] have done loads for me and made me feel very welcome since I first came and gave me the opportunities to develop even further. To look past that and into the future would be disrespectful."
He went on to make his senior debut for Birmingham in August 2019, just over a month after his 16th birthday, and made 44 appearances for the club before Dortmund signed him for £22.5million a year later.
Having won the German Cup in his first season with Dortmund, Bellingham has gone on to make 100 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals and providing 18 assists.
Now aged 19, he is on the cusp of becoming a key man for England as well, having made his debut aged 17 in November 2020. He currently has 15 international caps to his name and featured for the Three Lions at last summer's Euros.
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