The Manchester United legend believes Champions League football will convince Bellingham to avoid a move to Liverpool.
Paul Merson believes Jude Bellingham could pick Liverpool over Real Madrid, even if the Reds don’t qualify for the Champions League.
Real Madrid knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League with a 6-2 win on aggregate. Speaking as a pundit on BT Sport, Rio Ferdinand said the defeat could convince Bellingham to choose Real Madrid over the English giants.
“If Real Madrid are in for me and Liverpool, there’s only one place I can go” – and they [Liverpool] don’t finish in the Champions League as well maybe,” Ferdinand said.
“As a player – nothing to do with my allegiances to United or Liverpool – you look at it cold and you go: “I see more trophies here [at Madrid]”.”
Bellingham has attracted interest from a host of elite clubs across Europe ahead of the next summer. However, most sources claim Real Madrid and Liverpool are leading the race to sign the England international.
Merson believes the prospect of playing for Liverpool is attractive enough to convince Bellingham of a move.
“I get where Rio Ferdinand is coming from when he says Jude Bellingham will be picking Real Madrid over Liverpool on the basis of their Champions League knockout clash,” the former Arsenal star told Daily Star.
“But I’ve read stories about Bellingham and his family and all they were ever interested in was ensuring he plays football when they picked Borussia Dortmund over Man United.
“One year out of the Champions League at 19 isn’t going to define his career if Liverpool miss out on fourth. He’s not an egotistical player and my feeling is he likes the challenge.”