Manchester United and Chelsea could reportedly lose out to Borussia Dortmund in the race to sign Birmingham City’s teenage sensation Jude Bellingham.
According to a report from The Sun, Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund are leading the chase to sign Birmingham City’s £50 million rated youngster Jude Bellingham, who is also a target for Premier League heavyweights Chelsea and Manchester United.
Bellingham, in recent months, has gone from being a relatively unknown quantity to becoming one of the most coveted young footballers in Europe. The 16-year-old midfielder, a product of Birmingham’s youth academy, broke through the first-team this season and has made quite an impression so far.
Bellingham, so far, has featured in 32 matches in the EFL Championship for Birmingham, producing a return of 4 goals and 3 assists. A versatile operator, the teenage sensation is primarily a central midfielder but has been used on the right and left flanks this term, as well as a centre-forward on one occasion. The 16-year-old has been likened to Tottenham superstar Dele Alli.
Bellingham’s rise in stature in English football hasn’t gone unnoticed with Manchester United especially taking a keen interest in the teenager. In fact, the Red Devils made a serious attempt to land the Englishman in the January transfer window with a £30 million bid.
While no move materialized back then, Manchester United are continuing their pursuit of the youngster relentlessly and are currently prepared to offer Birmingham £35 million plus £15 million in add-ons.
Earlier this week, Manchester United gave Bellingham and his father a tour of their training facilities, while chief executive Ed Woodward had discussions with them over the possibility of a summer switch. Some reports have even claimed that Sir Alex Ferguson also had words with the Bellingham family in order to convince them to join the club.
However, things are not as straightforward as Manchester United would have hoped for with Chelsea also in the race to sign Bellingham in the summer as manager Frank Lampard is intent on working with the midfielder, who is being touted as the biggest teenage prospect in the country since Wayne Rooney.
But, the report from The Sun claims that it is Borussia Dortmund who are the early favourites to land the 16-year-old sensation, having made an offer in excess of £30 million. The Bundesliga heavyweights have a reputation of backing youngsters at the first-team level, with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Jadon Sancho and most recently Gio Reyna making the headlines.
This excellent track record, coupled with the fact that there is likely to be less scrutiny and spotlight in Germany than in England, is believed to have swayed Bellingham’s decision towards a summer switch to Dortmund over Chelsea and Manchester United.
Bellingham, who turns 17 in June, is currently on a scholar’s wage of just £145-a-week at Birmingham. However, it is looking less and less likely that he will stay with the Championship outfit beyond this season. It now remains to be seen if he decides to join Dortmund in Germany or prefers to stay in England with either Chelsea or Manchester United.