He became the most expensive 17-year-old in football history when he joined Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund from Birmingham City last summer for £25 million, but it seems inevitable that Jude Bellingham will one day return to England to compete in the Premier League.
The talented midfielder has now established himself as a regular member of Gareth Southgate’s squad at international level. He is also enjoying a strong start to the new season in Germany, having picked up the UEFA Player of the Match award as Borussia Dortmund beat Besiktas in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Such is the quality possessed by the now-18-year-old Bellingham that it’s not an exaggeration to say that could pretty much have his choice of any major club in the English top-flight if he returns to play in his homeland.
Per a report in The Sun, though, Manchester United believe that they will be at the top of Bellingham’s list of preferred destinations should he decide to come and ply his trade in the Premier League.
Although Chelsea and Manchester City are also said to be interested in the player, a source at Old Trafford has indicated the Red Devils are quietly confident that their previous interactions with him and his family will prove valuable when it comes to getting a deal done.
Just months before signing with Dortmund, Bellingham and his parents were given a private tour of United’s training facilities in the hope that they might persuade him that his future lay at the Theatre of Dreams.
Bellingham spent time with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and was even personally greeted by Sir Alex Ferguson during his visit. Of course, the youngster ultimately choose to make the switch to Germany, but the 13-time Premier League champions do not feel their efforts were entirely in vain.
“United may have lost out last year when he moved to Germany, but the ground work they put in has made a lasting impression on Jude and his family,” revealed the source.
“They were really impressed with the effort United made and the respect they were shown by everyone at the club.
“Meeting Sir Alex Ferguson was the icing on the cake.
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“Ultimately as Jude has made clear since, he decided to move to the club where he could see he would play games straight away and gain top-level experience week in, week out.
“United couldn’t offer that, but his memories from that day and the interactions he had with the club are extremely fond ones. United did everything right so maybe in the future that will work in their favour.”
As stacked as United currently are in terms of midfield talent, the chance to sign a player of Bellingham’s class and potential would likely prove too tempting to turn down. They may have missed out the first time around, but the Red Devils seem determined to eventually get their man.
Solskjaer out, Conte in at Manchester United? (Via The Football Terrace)