Manchester United held talks with Felix Nmecha before his move to Borussia Dortmund with the Bundesliga giants signing a potentially ‘world-class footballer’ in a £25 million deal.

One-time Man City kid Felix Nmecha was to Mason Mount, perhaps, what Justin Bijlow was to Andre Onana.

An affordable back-up, maybe, should Erik ten Hag’s pursuit of his number one target fall through.

Manchester United held discussions with Nmecha’s father, according to Sport1. Albeit before the Red Devils finally completed a protracted deal with Chelsea for Mount.

Sport-Club Freiburg v VfL Wolfsburg - Bundesliga
Photo by Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images

Nmecha then swapped Wolfsburg for Dortmund instead, last season’s Bundesliga runners-up delighted to snap up a player who’s athleticism, drive and technical ability in the box-to-box role should help offset the loss of Jude Bellingham to Real Madrid.

“Felix Nmecha is a fast, technically adept and physically strong player,” sporting director Sebastien Kehl said in June. “(He) will enhance our midfield both offensively and defensively with his profile.”

Felix Nmecha could replace Jude Bellingham at Dortmund

Nmecha was one of German football’s breakthrough stars in 2022/23. He scored three goals and set up five others, and his former Wolfsburg boss believes that a player who moved to the Volkswagen Arena from the Etihad Stadium in 2021 could soon join Bellingham in the pantheon of truly ‘world-class’ central midfielders.

“He is a great kid who can become a world-class footballer,” Kovac tells Sky Germany. “The way he has developed is extraordinary. It also put him in the spotlight, and brought him into the national team.”

Nmecha made his debut for Germany a couple of months ago.

“I believe that he now has a new challenge in Dortmund. A completely different level again,” Kovac adds. “And that’s the Champions League, that’s fighting for the title.

“You have to prove yourself. He will do it, I’m convinced of that. That’s why we’re also happy to have played a small role in his development.”

Nmecha will be expected to form a new-look midfield partnership with one Marcel Sabitzer next term. Sabitzer joined Dortmund from Bayern Munich over the weekend after Manchester United opted against keeping the Austrian at Old Trafford on a permanent basis.