BORUSSIA DORTMUND have claimed they can "win the fight for Jude Bellingham" despite interest from Manchester United and Liverpool.
The 18-year-old England midfelder is one of the most sought-after teenagers in world football after starring for the Bundesliga side over the past two seasons.
But his future has been called into question this week after it emerged his Dortmund team-mate Erling Haaland is set to join Manchester City in the summer.
However, the German club's CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke believes they can keep a player like Bellingham despite rumours linking him to both Man Utd and Liverpool.
Watzke explained how it was impossible for them to keep Haaland due to other teams' financial superiority, but then went on to reveal why that can be a positive as it enables them to plan ahead.
He told CNN: "That's the only way for us because when a player performs very well, we have to fight against the big, big, big clubs with the oligarchs and the Arabian states at their back. And this fight we cannot win.
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He then added: "But we can win a fight over an 18-year-old player, like Jude Bellingham, because this player loves to play at Borussia Dortmund because we have always 80,000 spectators, it's a very good atmosphere and the club knows how to manage young players.
"That's our way and, OK, we have a good department who are scouting young players every day, but it's also very important if you have the player here, you must develop him and I think that works… most of the time, it works."
Man Utd have been linked with Bellingham as they are preparing for the departures of Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba.
Meanwhile, Liverpool may need to strengthen their squad in the summer – particularly given Haaland's imminent arrival at Man City.
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The Norwegian striker has reportedly completed his medical with the Premier League champions.
He will only cost City a transfer fee worth £64million but in total could set Pep Guardiola's men back around £300m.
Haaland's representatives and father Alf-Inge are set to make around £67m between them.
And the striker's wages will cost roughly £170m across his five-year deal.
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