Premier League

Borussia Dortmund chief confirms true value of Real Madrid’s Jude Bellingham transfer

Jude Bellingham

Borussia Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke has confirmed Real Madrid paid “a lot more” than the reported €103m fee to sign Jude Bellingham last summer.

Bellingham swapped Germany for Spain last summer in a deal which was worth an initial €103m – a sum which many have taken as the final value of the transfer.

Ahead of his reunion with Bellingham in the Champions League final, Watzke clarified that the much-quoted figure does not represent the full cost to Madrid.

“If it had been only €103m, we would have negotiated badly,” he told AS when the figure was brought up. “But no, it is no consolation because players like Jude or Erling [Haaland] not only left a football mark in Dortmund. They are two kids that we really appreciate here.

“There is no money to compensate for it. Of course, since you have to let them go, let it be for the largest amount possible.”

Again asked whether Bellingham’s transfer was worth more than €103m, Watzke responded: “A lot more.”

Jude Bellingham

Bellingham bid farewell to Dortmund last summer / Alex Grimm/GettyImages

Dortmund actually confirmed the full extent of Bellingham’s transfer back in June 2023 when the deal was announced.

A club statement to shareholders revealed Madrid had agreed to a further €30.9m in add-ons, taking the full cost of the transfer to €133.9m.

Watzke went on to admit his negotiations with Madrid were not problematic and he was actually encouraging Bellingham to make the move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I always advised Jude that, if he was convinced that he wanted to go to another club, he should consider going to Real Madrid,” Watzke continued. “And he listened to me.

“In the end it is the biggest club in the world. It’s been many years and I know them all. Florentino [Perez] is the boss, but there is also Jose Angel Sanchez, with whom I have a friendship. Just to name an example.”

Finally, Watzke brushed off a question over Madrid’s interest in Haaland.

“If I knew, I wouldn’t say it,” Watzke said when asked if Madrid had tried to beat Manchester City to Haaland’s signature.

“But it was a very different situation since Erling had a release clause in his contract. He just had to execute it, without stopping to talk too much to us. In any case, and without having too much evidence of it, I think that Madrid was already very clear at that time what their objective was in attack.”


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