Rangnick says he spent 18 months scouting 'extraordinary' Jude Bellingham

Ralf Rangnick’s former club and his current club both pursued midfield sensation Jude Bellingham in 2020. Unfortunately for the German coach, Bellingham chose neither, and signed with Borussia Dortmund.

Bellingham had been strongly pursued by Manchester United, Sky Sports reported.

The young midfielder is very highly rated by Rangnick, United’s new interim boss.

Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Rangnick was asked in a Q&A with The Athletic in September 2020, which player he was most looking forward to watching in the Bundesliga that season. His response showed how he felt about Bellingham.


Rangnick said: “Bellingham. He’s an absolute top player; one of the best. I have rarely seen a 17-year-old playing at such a level. We scouted him for 18 months at RB. He’s simply extraordinary.”

What can United take from this?

Does this mean Rangnick is going to sanction a £100 million bid to try and sign Bellingham away from Dortmund in January? Probably not.

Even if he thought the player to be worth the fee, and he may be, it’s unlikely the interim boss would consider the spend to be a sensible use of funds.

Instead, it is more likely to drive Rangnick’s determination to find the next Jude Bellingham.

While this won’t be easy – Rangnick admits Bellingham is a ‘rare’ talent – it won’t stop the recruitment expert from trying to find another one.

His admission that he spent so much time scouting Bellingham shows Rangnick is already well aware of football’s top young talents, well in advance.

Seeing Bellingham’s instant success at Dortmund should give the interim boss confidence to take a plunge on a player he rates similarly highly.

Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images

As for the Dortmund midfielder? He is paying attention to Jadon Sancho’s recent success. With the German side already eliminated from the Champions League, he may start wondering whether the club can ever be more than a developmental one.

Still just 18, Bellingham has scored three goals and provided five assists this season, and is likely to be part of England’s 2022 World Cup squad, if not the starting XI.

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