Reece James, Mason Mount and Raheem Sterling may have taken the first steps towards convincing Jude Bellingham to join Chelsea. The 19-year-old midfielder has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League for a while now as he continues to impress for club and country.
Bellingham netted the opener in England's World Cup clash with Iran, becoming the youngest players to score for the Three Lions at the tournament since Michael Owen in 1998. Alongside Chelsea stars Mount and Sterling, the Borussia Dortmund star was central to Gareth Southgate's side kickstarting the campaign with a 6-2 win.
And, Bellingham was quick to upload a post to his Instagram to earmark what was a historic moment in his exciting career. In the caption under a picture of himself celebrating his goal, he wrote: "Start as we mean to go on. Good time to finally get my first goal for England. Another dream come true. Let’s keep pushing!"
James, Mount and Sterling rushed to the comment section of Bellingham's post and flooded him with compliments. The Blues trio seem fairly close with the teenage sensation, all while Todd Boehly looks to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
Bellingham has been subject to long-term interest from Chelsea, football.london understands. The west Londoners watched the Englishman during his time as an academy player at Birmingham City, but after failing to act on their interest, the German giants swooped in and signed the teenager instead.
With Todd Boehly in the market for a new midfielder amid the uncertain futures of N'Golo Kante and Jorginho, Chelsea are one of several clubs eager to sign Bellingham, according to The Athletic. And, Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has admitted that the midfielder can leave in the summer if he wishes.
As quoted by ESPN, Watzke revealed that the German side cannot compete with the wages which are being offered by other top-flight European sides. He said: "We will hold talks now, as soon as [the World Cup in] Qatar is over, and then we'll have a fundamental talk about what he would like.
"He just needs to tell us if he'd like to stay or if he'd like to go. In both cases we'll talk about it very pleasantly and reasonably together.
"In general we can imagine that he'd stay with us, but we can't behave as if this topic wasn't on the table. If he says 'I'd like to do something else,' then the really big [clubs] in Europe will be there and we can't afford to fight financially."