June 7, 2023 _ (Reuters) – Borussia Dortmund have agreed to sell England midfielder Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid for an initial fee of 103 million euros ($110.4 million), the Bundesliga club said on Wednesday.
Bellingham will become the third player to be signed by Real Madrid for a fee worth at least 100 million euros after Gareth Bale (2013) and Eden Hazard (2019).
“With realisation of this transfer, Real Madrid will pay BVB a fixed transfer compensation in the amount of 103 million euros,” Dortmund said in a statement.
The 19-year-old, who had been linked with several major European clubs, joined Dortmund from Birmingham City in 2020 for 25 million pounds ($31.17 million), becoming the most expensive 17-year-old in football history.
An all-action midfielder whose calmness with the ball at his feet defies his age, Bellingham quickly became a regular in the Dortmund side, anchoring the midfield and starting over 30 Bundesliga games in each of his last two seasons in Germany.
His performances caught the eye of England manager Gareth Southgate who made Bellingham the youngest English player to represent his country at a major tournament during the 2021 European Championship.
He soon became a permanent fixture in England’s midfield, playing all five games at the World Cup in Qatar where they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by France.
Bellingham was linked with Premier League clubs who wanted to bring him back to England, including Liverpool whose manager Juergen Klopp said in April that they were forced to pull out of the race to sign him due to his price tag.
At Real Madrid, he will join a side rich in young midfield talent in Federico Valverde, Eduardo Camavinga and Aurelien Tchouameni as the club look to build for the future and replace long-time stalwarts Toni Kroos and Luka Modric.
Real, record 14-times European champions, are in the process of rebuilding their squad following high-profile exits such as Karim Benzema — who made a big-money move to Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad — Hazard, Marco Asensio and Mariano Diaz.
They won the Copa del Rey last season but finished 10 points behind champions Barcelona in LaLiga and lost to Manchester City in the Champions League semi-finals.
The deal with Dortmund includes add-ons.
“In addition, the payment of variable transfer fees up to a maximum total amount of around 30% of the amount of the fixed transfer fee has been agreed,” the German club said.
“Such variable transfer fees are dependent on the achievement of certain sporting successes by Real Madrid and/or sporting successes or performances of the player at Real Madrid in the period of the next six seasons.”
($1 = 0.9331 euros)
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Chopra, editing by Ed Osmond)