May 2, 2020
Manchester United have, as yet, been unable to get a deal struck for 16-year-old Jude Bellingham who has been linked to the Premier League giants for almost a year. In the past few months, the player and his parents visited United’s Aon training complex and met legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson with the club feeling confident.
However, in the months that have passed, United have not been able to secure anything, partly due to the coronavirus pandemic which has halted world football since mid-March. This unforeseen circumstance has left other clubs thinking that they have a chance to steal the deal from under the noses of United.
The Bleacher Report have suggested that Bellingham has not yet made up his mind about where his future lies and instead was focussed on finishing the 2019/20 season at Birmingham City, although that seems to be up in the air at the minute with a decision yet to be made as to whether the EFL want to continue or abandon the season.
Back in January, Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund were hotly linked to the teenager with suggestions that the player would opt to head to Germany rather than Manchester. In the months since, there does not seen to be any indication as to which destination is more likely, which has led to the media playing guessing game, as usual.
The 16-year-old has become the most wanted player in England, according to reports after his stunning form for Birmingham over the past season. The German club seems positive that their approach will be successful but reports suggest the player’s family hold reservations about a move abroad at his age – he would be 17 this summer.
United’s Premier League rivals, Chelsea also hold an interest in the player, which might give him a difficult decision to make at this time, if they have even made an approach for him. Also, at United, he would not be guaranteed first team football immediately with the likes of Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Fred, and Scott McTominay ahead of him.
Moving to a smaller club would see him get plenty of first team action, but the chances of him moving to a bigger club after that would depend on his performances. Wayne Rooney broke into Everton’s first team around the same age, however, there is no guarantee that Bellingham is a generational talent like Rooney clearly was.
That said, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems keen on a £35 million deal for the teenager, rising to around £50 million with add-ons. When Bellingham had the meeting with United, he was reportedly blown away, perhaps an indication that he liked what he saw and could possibly see himself at the club in the long term. Who knows. It seems positive though.
In the meeting at Carrington, Bellingham, his parents, Sir Alex Ferguson and Matt Judge were present. It was stated by an apparent source of the Old Trafford club that they felt Bellingham was blown away by what he saw, which might be something or nothing. We all know how the media stirs things from time to time. However, this was said:
“We felt that he was blown away with what he was shown and what was said to him by all.”