Wonderkid Jude Bellingham reveals he turned down £25m Manchester United move because Borussia Dortmund was the ‘best place to play football’… and he DIDN’T ask Jadon Sancho about making a switch to the Bundesliga
- Jude Bellingham shunned Manchester United interest to join Borussia Dortmund
- The 17-year-old starlet believes that Dortmund is the ‘best place to play football’
- He was given a tour of United’s facilities but chose to move to the Bundesliga
- The ex-Birmingham City midfielder also said he did not contact Jadon Sancho
Jude Bellingham has revealed just why he rejected advances from Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson to join Borussia Dortmund this summer.
The 17-year-old wonderkid was no longer a secret after becoming Birmingham City’s youngest player at 16 years and 38 days and the Championship club were soon inundated with offers.
United were keen, roping in old boss Ferguson to show Bellingham and his parents around the Aon training complex, but the charm offensive failed as he elected to take his talents to Dortmund.
Jude Bellingham has opened up on why he chose to join Borussia Dortmund this summer
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was keen to bring the teenager to Old Trafford
‘Man United have a great squad,’ Bellingham told the Guardian. ‘And my decision had nothing to do with Man United.
‘I was so focused and so happy with the interest from Dortmund that this became my first choice. It was never: “It’s this over this club.” For me it was Borussia Dortmund, and that’s it.’
The German giants have a rich history with young players having developed Christian Pulisic and more recently Jadon Sancho, Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna and 15-year-old Youssoufa Moukoko.
For Bellingham, the emphasis on youth was undeniable and their ‘next level’ approach ensured he was clear where he would go.
Dortmund paid £25million to get him and he is already fast improving.
‘The way they integrate young players into the first-team squad is next level,’ he explained.
‘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.’
Bellingham’s decision to leave England was by no means straightforward and many had suggested he sought out advice from Sancho.
Bellingham believes Dortmund ‘is the best place’ for improving young talents to develop
Sancho, who was subjected to a summer-long pursuit by Manchester United, left for Germany at the age of 17 having struggled for regular first team opportunities at Manchester City.
He has since gone on to be one of the most impressive attackers in European football.
But asked whether the two spoke as Bellingham worked out the deal, the Stourbridge-born midfielder put the record straight.
‘I sort of spoke to him through other people,’ he said. ‘I would mention something and they would say: “Jadon thought the same about this or that”.
‘We didn’t have exact contact or anything like that. I played 44 times last season, so maybe my situation was slightly different to Jadon’s. But I am just glad to have got the opportunity.’
Bellingham has hit the ground running in Germany, winning Bundesliga Rookie of the Month in September and becoming the youngest Englishman to start in the Champions League in a recent loss at Lazio.
He admitted he had not spoken directly to Jadon Sancho (right) about joining Dortmund