Borussia Dortmund sporting director Sebastian Kehl has refused to rule out the prospect of Jude Bellingham remaining at the Westfalenstadion this summer, despite the consensus that he will move to Real Madrid.
The Black and Yellows poached Bellingham from Birmingham City as a 17-year-old in 2020, pipping Manchester United to the midfielder’s signature for a fee of £21.7m.
Despite his tender age, Bellingham quickly became a mainstay in the BVB setup and has already amassed 24 goals and 25 assists in 132 appearances for the Bundesliga giants in all tournaments.
Interest in his services has been growing for some time, but Dortmund agreed a new deal with the 19-year-old until 2025 two years ago and successfully fended off potential suitors last summer.
However, Bellingham is now believed to be on the brink of a big-money switch to Real Madrid this summer, having earmarked the Bernabeu as his ideal destination after Liverpool withdrew their interest.
The former Birmingham youngster has netted three goals in his last two appearances against Wolfsburg and Borussia Monchengladbach, and Kehl has acknowledged that Bellingham is an irreplaceable member of Edin Terzic’s squad.
“We know Jude wants the title. He is totally focused and out of all the discussion about his future. Naturally I am in constant contact with his parents who come to the matches,” Kehl added.
“We are calm as far as Bellingham is concerned, we are prepared for different scenarios. I have to be prepared for different scenarios. If he leaves, it will be possible for us to get a lot of money according to market prices. That is a variant in which we have found solutions (with other players) in the past.
“However we know that Jude Bellingham is a player you can’t replace one-for-one. In the state he is in and with his potential he is an unbelievable player. He is not replaceable, not with a lot of money either.”
In total, Bellingham has amassed 14 goals and seven assists in 42 outings for BVB in the 2022-23 season, also wearing the captain’s armband on four occasions.
The 19-year-old has won one DFB-Pokal with Dortmund and could play his penultimate game for the club when they travel to Augsburg on Sunday.