Fresh light has been shed on the reasons behind Jude Bellingham’s decision to snub Manchester United and sign for Borussia Dortmund.
Bellingham, one of the most sought-after teenagers in Europe, has agreed a move to Dortmund after considerable interest from multiple clubs, many of whom pulled out all the stops to convince the Birmingham City prodigy to commit his future to them.
Manchester United fancied their chances of persuading Bellingham to make the switch to Old Trafford and the Red Devils had put the midfielder on a monthly watchlist as far back as 2017.
According to a detailed report on the various attempted pursuits of Bellingham in The Athletic, United even ensured that Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona would be present to talk up the club when Bellingham visited United in early March.
And despite negotiations with United’s vice-chairman Ed Woodward and chief negotiator Matt Judge, as well as a £25 million offer from the Red Devils, Bellingham ultimately decided that Dortmund was the destination for him.
Dortmund’s pursuit of Bellingham, 17, involved sending him club shirts and inviting him on a tour of Signal Iduna Park to see what the fuss is about.
According to The Athletic, the German side also sent Bellingham a ‘mood video’ which provided a sense of what it was like to play in front of Dortmund’s famous Yellow Wall, while particular emphasis was put on the recent track record of Dortmund’s ability to cultivate young talent such as Jadon Sancho.
It’s also reported that Dortmund were willing to welcome Bellingham on board with a more appealing wage packet than United initially offered.
Those factors, combined with the guarantee of Champions League football, ultimately led Bellingham to look beyond all other suitors and put pen to paper on a switch to Dortmund.