Jude Bellingham’s Man Utd and Wayne Rooney admissions explains extent of club’s struggles


Jude Bellingham snubbed Manchester United to join Borussia Dortmund in a transfer from Birmingham City back in the summer of 2020, despite his admiration for Wayne Rooney

Jude Bellingham of Borussia Dortmund
Jude Bellingham chose Borussia Dortmund over Manchester United

Manchester United ’s inability to sign Jude Bellingham two years ago has been thrust into the spotlight once again after the midfielder opened up about his move to Borussia Dortmund.

Bellingham joined Dortmund in a £25million transfer from his hometown club Birmingham City back in July 2020. The 18-year-old has since gone on to establish himself as one of the most promising young players in Europe and become a regular for England.

United made a concerted effort to woo Bellingham two years ago, enlisting Sir Alex Ferguson to convince him to join and giving him a tour of the club’s training facilities. Bellingham was reportedly impressed with the lengths United went to, but he still opted against a move to Old Trafford.

It was reported in February that United’s football director John Murtough led United’s pursuit of Bellingham, but a presentation he gave the young midfielder failed to have the desired effect. Murtough did not show Bellingham a clear career pathway and he therefore chose to follow Jadon Sancho to Dortmund.

“I never dreamed of playing in Germany, I always thought it would be for Birmingham or in England and that would be me,” Bellingham said in an Xbox video interview. “The chance to play for Dortmund came and I didn’t really hesitate. Not one second have I ever regretted it or thought ‘this is too hard for me’. I want to rise to the challenge every single day I am there.”

After signing one of the world’s most sought-after talents, Dortmund’s sporting director, Michael Zorc explained what sealed the deal. He said: “Jude Bellingham confidently chose BVB and, of course, was primarily concerned with the sporting perspective that we showed him.”

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Jude Bellingham has won 12 caps for England since joining Dortmund
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Dortmund has proven themselves to be the best place for Bellingham over the past few seasons, with the midfielder racking up 10 goals and 17 assists in 85 appearances for the club in all competitions. He has developed quickly by playing regularly in the Bundesliga, even if it was never a consideration early in his career.

“I was never really too interested in football,” Bellingham admitted. “It was something that I got dragged around to because my dad was a non-league player and a big fan of it. One day it clicked and I just loved it – I went from strength to strength as a player. Dad was my hero. At the time there was Rooney and Robin van Persie was also really good, but for me my dad was the number one.”

The fact that Bellingham admired United forwards Rooney and Van Persie but still snubbed a move to Old Trafford two years ago does not reflect well on the club. According to Sky Sports , United offered Birmingham £30m for Bellingham’s signature in January 2020 but still missed out to Dortmund.

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