Liverpool have been told to have back-up options lined up in case top target Jude Bellingham doesn’t sign.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Tottenham and Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton urged the Reds to pursue other top-class midfielders.

According to French outlet Jeunes Footeux, as relayed by Anfield Watch (10 December), the Anfield club are interested in a move for Sheffield United’s Sander Berge and “could go on the offensive” in January.

The 24-year-old is keen on a move away from Bramall Lane with Chelsea also linked with the midfielder.

On Tuesday (13 December), sources told this site that the Reds could be set to bring in a lower profile midfielder in January as they push for the headline capture of Bellingham in the summer.

On Saturday (10 December), sources told this site that Liverpool were close to signing the England international during the summer window.

The latest from a Liverpool source on Friday (16 December) is that the club are working on a deal for Bellingham, and are well placed to sign him, but they are wary of the competition – especially Man City.

When asked if Jurgen Klopp’s side will wait to see how the Bellingham situation plays out before hunting other targets, Hutton told Football Insider: “I do not think they can.

He [Berge] is obviously a good player, he is highly thought of at Sheffield United. There has been talk of him going to other clubs ever since they were relegated.

Is he going to go in at this moment in time and make a huge difference? I am not so sure. Of course he is a good player.

“But they can’t wait for Bellingham. It is not going to happen in January, it might not happen in the summer so they can’t pin their hopes on him coming just in case he doesn’t because there is going to be a lot of suitors out there for him.

In other news, Liverpool have now been offered the chance to sign a 23-year-old Brazilian on loan

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