The reason why Jude Bellingham refused to sign for Man Utd despite 'convincing' Sir Alex Ferguson he'd join
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Jude Bellingham refused to sign for Manchester United three years ago. Here’s why.
On Tuesday, the 20-year-old was the star of the show as England dismantled Scotland 3-1 in a friendly fixture in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first meeting between the two sides.
Bellingham played a part in England's first goal scored by Phil Foden before netting the second himself after an awful error by Scotland captain Andrew Robertson.
The youngster, who has been the jewel in the crown at Real Madrid since securing a summer move to La Liga, then put a concluding touch of class on an exceptional performance by skipping through the Scotland midfield and feeding a pass for Harry Kane to claim his customary goal.
Bellingham, who has 26 caps and is currently Real Madrid’s top scorer, is quite easily one of England’s best-ever players at 20. For context, Paul Gascoigne - one of the country’s greatest ever talents - was playing for a Newcastle side that had finished 17th in the First Division at the same age and was a year away from being capped.
And of course, the youngster’s talent had not gone unnoticed in the rest of the football world. Bellingham was linked with Liverpool, Manchester City, United and Paris Saint-Germain this summer when he looked set to depart Borussia Dortmund.
Meanwhile, Bellingham had plenty of suitors as a 17-year-old departing Birmingham, with United thought to have talked him into joining.
Indeed, a heavyweight trio of Bryan Robson, Eric Cantona and Ferguson met the player and his mum, with the former later telling the Sun he was "convinced" Bellingham would sign.
Indeed, as per the Mirror, Bellingham also had a guided tour of Old Trafford, while he and his family spoke with manager at the time Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United’s chief transfer negotiator Matt Judge.
However, Bellingham later admitted he turned down United as he believed Dortmund were the best team in Europe at developing young talent.
Bellingham said at the time: “I just think the way Dortmund integrate young players into the first-team squad is next level.
“There is not a club in Europe that does it quite like them. The way they are pushed and can also be reeled back in.
“They can review your performances. There is a person there for every player who has worked with the young players. Everyone has that support system to work for their chance in the first team.
“Man United have a great squad. And my decision had nothing to do with money. And I was so focused and so happy with the interest from Dortmund that this became my first choice. It was never [a case of] it's this over this club. For me it was Borussia Dortmund, and that’s it.”