Dortmund focus on Chelsea amid Bellingham speculation

LONDON: Borussia Dortmund manager Edin Terzic said on Monday his side could shrug off speculation about a Jude Bellingham departure when they take on Chelsea in the Champions League this week.

Bellingham has emerged as one of the brightest young stars in Europe since joining Dortmund from Birmingham in 2020.

The 19-year-old impressed for England at last year’s World Cup and was the dominant force in Dortmund’s run of 10 straight wins in all competitions.

But Bellingham’s meteoric rise has fueled talk he will leave the German club at the end of this season, with Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea said to be among his potential targets.

“With all due respect to Jude and his performance, we’ve been answering these types of questions since he arrived,” Terzic told reporters before meeting the Blues at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday.

“Before he decided to join us, he had the opportunity to join the Premier League. There was a lot of interest from high profile clubs.

“But he has chosen to join us because he knows it can be the perfect move for him. I think we’ve proved it both ways. He helps us a lot. But we as a club also help him and his career.”

Given the chance of knocking Chelsea out of the Champions League if Dortmund look to defend a 1-0 lead in the second leg, Terzic is confident Bellingham and his team-mates will tune out the transfer noise.

“We are really happy that he is part of our team, he is one of our leaders at 19 years old. He joined the England team as one of our players. But we know we need a good performance from him tomorrow,” he said.

“It’s going to be an issue for his future but our future now is that tomorrow we’re going to face a really tough opponent and that’s why we need him in a good way.”

Thanks to Bellingham’s influential form, Terzic’s side are level on points with Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich and have the Chelsea clash under control.

Former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, whose brilliant clearance from Kalidou Koulibaly kept Dortmund ahead in the first leg, is aware of Bellingham’s value to his side.

But he demanded that the teenager must be given time to make the right decision about his future

“He’s a world-class talent, everyone knows his potential. Jude has to know what he’s doing himself,” Can said.

“It’s hard to say what’s best for him. That’s for him and his family to decide.”AFP Dortmund focus on Chelsea amid Bellingham speculation

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