Manchester United made a serious play to try and win the race to sign Jude Bellingham this week.
Sir Alex Ferguson was present as Bellingham and his parents were given a tour of United’s Carrington base on Monday, The Telegraph reported.
Right now we do not know Bellingham’s decision, or when he will make it. There is serious interest from Borussia Dortmund too.
United can at least feel confident that this week the club have done everything available at this early stage to try and swing a deal.
Birmingham City recognise that the teenager is a special talent who they cannot hold onto beyond this summer.
Even at the age of 16, they recognise he is destined for the very top.
Kristjaan Speakman, Birmingham’s academy manager, told The Times: “It’s been an incredible experience to work with such a talented individual.
“We very much believe that Jude will be a Champions League player, and you don’t get that many opportunities to spend time with boys who are going to perform at that level.”
He added that he expect Bellingham to make even more of an impact in terms of goalscoring and assists as his career progresses.
He said: “I think the coaches would feel that as a centre midfielder he has the attributes to get box-to-box, has a very good range of passing, a creative eye, and astute decision making at the top end of the pitch. I think that’s what you will see emerge in the next two to three years.”
Manchester United’s power of persuasion is being tested
Manchester United is a club like no other. This should be an easy choice for Bellingham.
However he will also be getting advice that this could be too much, too soon, that he needs to take an intermediate step where he can play regularly and away from the limelight while he develops as a footballer.
Erling Haaland chose this path, selecting Borussia Dortmund, knowing that a Premier League move will be his whenever he wants it in the future.
United securing a top four place this season could be influential in the decision too.
Amid the suggestion he will be a Champions League player, Bellingham could realise this prediction as quickly as later this year at Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was reportedly present to meet with Bellingham and his parents too. The club moved at the right time, when the feelgood factor was at a high, after a win over Manchester City.
Solskjaer has shown this season he is willing to give young players a chance when he feels they deserve it. Bellingham will have to earn a role at United, but for the figures being discussed for his signature, the club will owe it to themselves to make sure he gets opportunities.
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