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Former CEO has revealed how Ferguson and Cantona were unable to convince England star to join Man Utd

Chris Byfield

| Last updated 

Former CEO has revealed how Ferguson and Cantona were unable to convince England star to join Man Utd

Birmingham City's former CEO Xuandong Ren laid bare how Manchester United and Chelsea both failed to sign Jude Bellingham in 2020.

The 19-year-old is currently the most sought-after midfielder in world footballer, with Premier League trio United, Manchester City and Liverpool all thought to be in hot pursuit.

Meanwhile, on the continent, La Liga giants Real Madrid and oil-rich Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain are also believed to be keen.

Bellingham is likely to be subject to a bidding war next summer, though the teenager should be unfazed by the attention, having gone through a similar ordeal in 2020 when he moved from Birmingham City to Borussia Dortmund.


Then the likes of Chelsea, United and Bayern Munch all made attempts to sign the midfielder, but to no avail.

Man Utd’s attempts to convince Bellingham

United were very interested in signing Bellingham in 2020, even offering the player a tour of their Carrington training Ground.

And the former Birmingham CEO Ren has opened up about other tactics employed by the Manchester club to lure the youngster to Old Trafford.


Ren, who headed up the Blues from 2017 to 2020, told Mundo Deportivo that United offered twice as much as the other interested parties.


Meanwhile club legends Sir Alex Ferguson, Eric Cantona and then-manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reportedly all had a go at trying to convince the star of the merits of a United move.

Ren claimed: “Ed Woodward (then United CEO) was the most insistent. We sat down and talked about how we could convince Bellingham. But Jude didn't make any decisions based on money.


“They offered a lot more salary compared to the rest...Double. He was going to have guaranteed millions in the bank and he didn't take them.

“That's not normal for a player at all. He sat down with Solskjaer, until Woodward brought Ferguson that day, another day to Cantona, to try to convince him.”

Chelsea and Bayern tried to sign Bellingham

Meanwhile, Chelsea and Bayern were also scrambling for the player's signature, though Blues legend and then-manager Frank Lampard “did not convince him either”.


Ren also opened up about Bayern’s pursuit of the player, claiming: “Until the last day, when he was going to sign with Dortmund, I received a call from his father asking me to wait to sign the transfer.

“Bayern were trying to raise the offer at the last minute. They offered a lot of money as a bonus to the player.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Football, Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Eric Cantona, Jude Bellingham

Chris Byfield
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