Liverpool have been heavily linked with sought-after Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham to freshen up their ageing midfield.

Liverpool have been linked with Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham; Jurgen Klopp says the club are “prepared” for the January transfer window; Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher believes the club needs £250m of investment in new signings to compete with the Premier League’s best

Jurgen Klopp laughed off suggestions Liverpool could sign Jude Bellingham in January but admitted the club are “prepared” for the upcoming transfer window.

Liverpool have been heavily linked with sought-after Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham to freshen up their ageing midfield.

But asked whether any deal for the 19-year-old would only have to be done in the summer instead of next month, Klopp laughed: “In January? I’m the wrong person to answer that.”

However, the Reds boss did reveal the club are ready for the January window to open.

January, in our situation, is a window from a sports side we are always prepared, it’s always clear what kind of ideas we have or how the necessity is from our point of view,” he added with Liverpool set to face Aston Villa in their first Premier League match since the World Cup.

All the rest doesn’t lie 100 per cent in our hands and we always work with what we’ve got, and that will not change.

“You can imagine the situation we are in that we are probably looking. If something happens, we will see.”

Ahead of Liverpool’s 3-2 defeat to title rivals Manchester City in the Carabao Cup, Sky Sports’ Jamie Carragher said Liverpool need to invest up to £250m in their squad to compete at the top of the Premier League again.

But the former Reds defender fears the club’s owners, Fenway Sports Group, do not have the funds to sign the targets that Klopp requires with FSG open to investment” in the Merseyside club – although there are reports they want to sell – and Carragher believes this is a sign they are making moves to meet Klopp’s demands.

Quizzed on if he thought Carragher’s £250m estimation was accurate, Klopp said: “I don’t know about the amount of money you need exactly but I’m not against investment. We will see what the future brings, nobody knows that at the moment, but I’m still convinced it will be good, the future is bright for us.

“But at the moment we have to sort the situation. Nothing to do with any kind of future investment or investors, we have to sort the present and that’s what we’re working on.”

Asked if a takeover is required to compete in the transfer market, Carragher told Sky Sports: “It’s interesting whether it is a sale or they need investment.

“There is no doubt that Jurgen Klopp has told Liverpool’s owners, ‘I need £200m-£250m to spend in the summer’.

“That sounds like an outrageous figure, but that is what Man Utd and Chelsea spent last summer. These are the figures that Liverpool’s rivals are spending.

“I think probably once in Klopp’s tenure, Liverpool have really gone for it in the transfer market. I think it was after the first Champions League final they bought a lot of players.

“I think it needs that now. I don’t think FSG have those funds right now and I think that’s why they are looking for investment to come in and help them.”

Jude Bellingham will be one of the most sought-after prospects in 2023 and likely to command a fee in excess of £100m – but who will win the race to sign him?

The Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder is admired by Real Madrid, Man City, Liverpool and other Premier League clubs.

Liverpool returned to domestic action with Thursday’s EFL Cup tie with Manchester City as they limber up for their Premier League clash with Aston Villa on Boxing Day.

The Reds were missing a handful of players for their trip to the Etihad Stadium but plans could already be firmly in place to add to their squad numbers next month. According to the latest reports, two cheap alternatives to Enzo Fernandez may be considered, although the same number of players from the squad could be nearing exits ahead of January.

Liverpool may be linked with a big-money move for Benfica’s Fernandez but the latest reports in Italy have suggested that the Reds are also interested in Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot.

The Frenchman earned plenty of plaudits for his World Cup displays with France as they finished as runners-up in Qatar. Rabiot’s contract expires at the end of the season and Juventus are being backed to cash in on his services in January as a result.

And according to Corriere dello Sport, Liverpool are one of the clubs who are interested in signing Rabiot next month and a bid in the region of €10million to €15m (£8.8 to £13.2m) would be “received with interest” by Juventus, making him a much cheaper option at this stage of the season.

Liverpool are also reportedly keen on signing Ajax sensation Mohammed Kudus in January as the Ghanaian looks to move towards the exit door at the Amsterdam club.

Kudus has lit up the Champions League this season with four goals and two assists in six games, including Ajax’s equaliser in the 2-1 defeat at Anfield in September. However, as a result of Ajax’s elimination from the competition, Kudus is becoming a highly wanted man.

And according to the Daily Mail, Kudus ‘could try and force a move in January’ and Liverpool are one of his admirers, with it thought that a bid of around £34m could do the trick for the Reds if they decide to move for the Ghana playmaker.

While there is plenty of talk around who Liverpool might sign in January, there are a number of players who could still depart Anfield next year should further reinforcements arrive.

The first of those is midfielder Naby Keita, whose contract runs out next summer. As a result, plenty of clubs are circling the Guinea international, with the Liverpool Echo claiming that AC Milan are ‘carefully monitoring’ the 27-year-old’s situation.

Elsewhere, third-choice goalkeeper Adrian could also be on the move next month, having fallen behind Caoimhin Kelleher in the pecking order, according to ESPN. However, the Spaniard would struggle to find a club who are searching for a new first choice shot-stopper.

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