Jamie Carragher criticized Liverpool’s “timid” refusal to race for Jude Bellingham, saying the Reds had betrayed the trust of the fans by failing to pursue him.
With Bellingham expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season and Liverpool’s midfield desperately in need of a makeover, Anfield has long been suggested as a potential destination for the Englishman.
However, reports this week suggested that Liverpool were no longer targeting Bellingham, with Real Madrid and Manchester City reportedly leading the way for the £130m-rated midfielder.
Although Jurgen Klopp did not want to directly discuss Bellingham at Friday’s press conference, he admitted that Liverpool may have to “step aside and do other things” in the next transfer window.
The decision to focus on alternative targets has drawn criticism from former Reds defender Carragher, who says the club’s hierarchy needs to win back the trust of disgruntled fans.
Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp have created a level of transfer credibility that all of Europe is envious of,” Carragher wrote in The Telegraph on Friday.
“That trust disappeared after it was revealed that they would not go after Jude Bellingham this summer.
“It should be played out in the next transfer window because Klopp, his recruiting team and the owners of Fenway Sports Group have been given a free pass for the terrible performances of the past eight months, especially away from home.”
Hinspiel War nicht übel. #VFBBVB pic.twitter.com/XJ7MqLDqVJ
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) April 14, 2023
With Liverpool unlikely to qualify for Champions League competition next season, Carragher believes their failure to challenge for Bellingham’s signature shows “weakness”.
“Everything pointed to the need to wait for Bellingham. Fans have been sold the dream of the next Steven Gerrard playing at Anfield,” Carragher added.
“After a year of working on a deal, it seems like a timid capitulation to step aside and let Manchester City and Real Madrid fight for it.
“There are times when a club the size of Liverpool have to flex their muscles and remind their opponents that they can and will fight off and on the field.
“Leaving because now there is too much work for the whole team smacks of weakness, carelessness and poor planning.”