By Joe Ellis

16th May, 2022 | 3:56pm

Liverpool lead race to sign Birmingham City midfield starlet Jobe Bellingham - report

Liverpool have set their sights on Birmingham City midfielder Jobe Bellingham over a potential summer move, according to The Mirror.

The 16-year-old is the brother of former Blues academy graduate, now Borussia Dortmund and England midfielder Jude Bellingham but he has confirmed his intentions of staying at the Signal Iduna Park next season.

Younger brother Jobe has been offered a contract by Birmingham having already played three times for Lee Bowyer’s first team but he hasn’t yet signed on the dotted line.

Because he is yet to sign professional terms, he is free to move to whichever club he fancies with the blues unable to put a stop to any approach and only a compensation fee is required to be paid by whoever eventually signs him.

The Reds’ title rivals Manchester City are among the swarm of clubs keeping a very close eye on Bellingham’s situation in the Midlands with Newcastle United the other Premier League side named.

Leave him be

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It is completely understandable that the biggest clubs in the country want to sign the best young talent from wherever they can find them but they have to also allow them to mature and develop first.

Too many of the nation’s biggest clubs have been hoarding young talent for decades and they are very often the first ones to be shoved to the wayside when they get released.

There are far more opportunities for game time and success in the Football League than there are in the Premier League and if Bellingham were to make this move, he would only end up laying academy football year after year rather than getting minutes in the senior team at St Andrew’s.

He will learn far more from battling with seasoned professionals in the Championship than weak lads his age in the Liverpool academy so he needs to just be left alone by all of the big clubs and given the room to find his own path in the game.

In other Liverpool news, they know exactly what they need to do to sign Aberdeen’s Calvin Ramsay.