The Hard Tackle presents three alternatives for Liverpool to target if they miss out on the signature of Jude Bellingham.

Jude Bellingham is expected to return to England at the end of the season, and Liverpool will have to pay a club-record fee in order to sign him. Recent reports state that the player could cost around £130 million. And it remains to be seen whether Liverpool can fork out that kind of money for him.

Furthermore, Liverpool are in real danger of missing out on UEFA Champions League qualification. And they might struggle to attract a player of his quality without the lure of European football next season.

In addition, the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City are thought to be keen on signing the England international as well. And the two clubs have considerably more resources compared to the Reds.

There is no reason why they cannot beat Liverpool to his signature in the coming months. If the Reds end up missing out on the England international, here are three potential alternatives they could look to sign.

Moises Caicedo

The Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder has established himself as one of the most promising young midfielders in the Premier League. And he was heavily linked with a move to Chelsea and Arsenal during the January transfer window.

Liverpool are reportedly monitoring his situation. And the 21-year-old could prove to be the ideal acquisition for Jurgen Klopp’s side. The youngster would help the Reds control the tempo of the game and provide defensive cover to the side. The Ecuador international is adept at reading the game, and he is an excellent presser as well.

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In terms of style, Caicedo is an ideal fit for Liverpool’s system. And he could prove to be a quality long-term acquisition. Furthermore, the Brighton midfielder is unlikely to cost as much as Bellingham either.

Caicedo is already well-settled in the Premier League and could make an immediate impact that Anfield. Working with a world-class coach like Klopp could help him develop further and fulfill his tremendous potential.

Adrien Rabiot

The Juventus midfielder will be out of contract in the summer. And widespread reports have suggested that he has decided not to sign an extension with the Italian giants. So the Frenchman fits right into Liverpool’s budget.

The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to the Premier League for years. And it remains to be seen whether Liverpool can bring him to England this time around. Interestingly, Rabiot was a target for Manchester United last summer.

Will Rabiot be a good fit at Liverpool? (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images)

But the Red Devils have moved on from the 2022 FIFA World Cup finalist. But while Manchester United might not be interested anymore, Liverpool need to add more quality and depth to their midfield. And the French international midfielder would be an upgrade on players like James Milner and Jordan Henderson.

Rabiot showed quality at the World Cup, where he helped France dominate in the middle of the park alongside Aurelien Tchouameni. And he has the physical and technical attributes to thrive in English football as well. Signing a player of his quality on a free transfer could prove to be a masterstroke.

Florentino Luis

Benfica recently sold players like Darwin Nunez and Enzo Fernandez after breakout campaigns to Liverpool and Chelsea, respectively. However, Florentino Luis is a player who has gone under the radar.

The talented young Portuguese midfielder has the potential to develop into a top-class player and Liverpool could use someone like him. First-choice holding midfielder Fabinho has regressed considerably. So the Reds need to bring in a new defensive midfielder. Luis could be the player Liverpool are crying out for.

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The 23-year-old Benfica midfielder is exceptional at breaking up the play with his tough tackling style of play. Klopp has coached a number of talented young players into established stars. And he could help the Benfica midfielder develop into a top-class player for Liverpool as well.

However, the Portuguese outfit have a reputation for being difficult negotiators. And it remains to be seen whether they decide to demand a premium for Luis in the summer. The player has a €120 million release clause in his contract. So signing Luis will come with a set of obstacles for Liverpool.

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