David Bellion.

What happened to ex-Man Utd striker David Bellion who Sir Alex 'tapped up'

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Football News

Sir Alex Ferguson is widely regarded as one of football's greatest ever managers, yet even he made his fair share of transfer blunders at Manchester United.

Dong Fangzhuo, Luke Chadwick and Chris Eagles were all brought to the club by the Scot but proved terrible acquisitions, as did Bebe and Federico Macheda.

Fergie must have seen something in them when he decided to do business, but their supposed 'talent' never quite materialised.

However, one of his worst ever signings at the Theatre of Dreams came after he allegedly 'tapped up' the player in question.

Back in January 2003, Fergie was accused of approaching 20-year-old David Bellion - who was at Sunderland at the time - in a move that went against Premier League regulations.

Sunderland lodged a complaint against United after Bellion rejected a new contract, describing the Red Devils as "shabby, despicable, disrespectful, arrogant and unprofessional".

Bellion would eventually sign for United in June, though they had to fork out a £2 million compensation payment, which would later rise to £3 million.

So what actually happened to the Frenchman? Fergie went to extreme lengths to sign Bellion from Sunderland and must have hoped he would be worth the stress.

Neville and Butt congratulate Bellion

Well, safe to say he wasn't. Despite scoring on his debut against Celtic in a pre-season tour and featuring regularly throughout the 2003/04 season, it wasn't long before Bellion was frozen out.

A frustrating second term at United saw the striker join West Ham on loan for 2005/06, where he once again scored on his debut.

He made just 10 appearances for the Hammers, though, and ended up moving to Nice on a six-month loan before joining them permanently in the summer of 2006.

And one year later, he joined Bordeaux for €4.5 million. Game time once again proved an issue, with Bellion claiming at one point he was being 'ignored by the team's management'.


Bellion ended up staying at Bordeaux for seven years but spent most of his time on the bench and even rejoined Nice on loan in 2010, which was disastrous.

Championnat National side Red Star FC then gave Bellion a way out in 2014 and after securing them promotion into Ligue 2 in 2016, he hung up his boots, aged just 33.

He's now creative director at Red Star and will inevitably have regrets about the way his career panned out after joining a club of United's size.

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Alex Ferguson
Premier League
Manchester United

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