Jude Bellingham has a big, career-changing decision to make. Manchester United or Borussia Dortmund.
United have already shown him around the training ground with Sir Alex Ferguson giving him a tour of Carrington [BBC]. It should be a no-brainer, but Dortmund have a strong case themselves, and argue they can fast-track his talent.
So what will it take for United to close the deal for Bellingham?
Perhaps a bit of pressure from his current club may help.
Birmingham City are not proving to be an obstacle so far. They have conceded Bellingham will leave, and are looking for around £30 million [Mail].
United can make this even more enticing by offering a young player or two on a season long loan.
This is a tough time for clubs outside the Premier League. Birmingham’s finances were not in the healthiest of places before this season.
If United offer a couple of players into the mix, it could be a big help. United can even line up a ready made replacement for Bellingham.
One player who needs a loan is Dylan Levitt. He is a Wales international, and impressed on his United debut against Astana. But competition for places means he hasn’t had a game since.
Bellingham’s arrival would potentially hamper his game time further. So it would be in his interests to go and showcase his talents out on loan, to try and position himself to jump the queue. Birmingham would have a ready made space for him in the first team to fill.
It might depend who they want too. If they want a forward, Largie Ramazani is ready for a loan. Centre-back? Teden Mengi may benefit from a loan already. Goalkeeper? Matej Kovar is ready for a loan. James Garner is another midfielder who may need a loan.
United have the talent to supply, and clubs will likely be inundating chiefs at Old Trafford this summer.
Will it help?
It’s hard to know if this strategy would help secure Bellingham, but it certainly can’t hurt.
United need to get some of these talented young players out on loan playing competitive football.
Birmingham boss Pep Clotet has shown this season with Bellingham, 16, that he is willing to give talented young players first team chances on a regular basis. United’s youngsters need a coach willing to give them opportunities.
Bellingham has a tricky decision to make, and media reports are contradictory whether he is favouring United or Dortmund.
It may help United out, if we are giving Birmingham the better deal, cash plus players.
Bellingham will want the club who gave him a shot to be in a good position financially when he leaves. His transfer will help that, and if loan deals are on offer, Birmingham may even start pushing him further in United’s direction.
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