Borussia Dortmund managing director Hans-Joachim Watzke says the club want to sign Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham, but admits competition to sign the 16-year-old prodigy will be fierce.
Despite his tender age, Bellingham has emerged as a key player this season for the Championship side, resulting in most of Europe's top clubs taking an interest in the young central midfielder.
Manchester United have been heavily linked with Bellingham, however Watzke has openly said that Dortmund will be pursuing a deal for Bellingham this summer.
"Of course we want this to work," Watzke told German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung, "but it is clear that with such a talented player, many others are also interested."
Dortmund have earned a reputation for giving some of Europe's most talented teenagers opportunities for first-team football at the very top level, including England international Jadon Sancho, who they signed as a youngster from Manchester City.
Other teenagers featuring regularly for Dortmund are striker Erling Haaland, and United States winger Gio Reyna.
That first-team pathway will be tempting to Bellingham, who has been valued at around £30 million ($37m) and will sign his first professional contract this summer.
Birmingham meanwhile are resigned to the fact they will lose one of their most prized assets, with former manager Pep Clotet last month admitting the club are in for a "busy summer" - although he did suggest that coronavirus could impact on transfer deals and how much clubs are willing to pay for players.
He told Sky Sports: “As a head coach, I don’t deal with transfers, it’s the club. But I can imagine the situation has all the clubs very worried about how to finish this season and what impact this season has into next season.
“That can change a lot of the future of the clubs. Possibly it’s going to be a busy summer, possibly it’s going to be less busy, we still don’t know what impact it will have.”
Bellingham has featured 36 times in all competitions for the senior Birmingham side this season, scoring four goals. He has primarily played in the centre of midfield, but has also been deployed on both the left and right wing on occasions.