Ole Gunnar Solskjaer misses out on highly talented midfielder, as Jude Bellingham travels for Borussia Dortmund medical
Blues midfielder poised to become most expensive 17-year-old in world football at £26m
Although Bellingham had not signed a professional contract with the Blues, it is understood they will receive a transfer fee in excess of the £26m.
The Bundesliga club have courted the midfielder, who turned 17 in June, for more than two years, amid stiff competition from most of Europe’s top teams, including Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and most notably Manchester United.
It is understood the England U17 skipper has chosen Dortmund due to the club’s long history of developing young talent and their policy of giving them the chance to play in the Bundesliga.
Bellingham will see out the remainder of the season at the Midlands club and is in the matchday squad for Saturday’s Championship clash at Fulham.
The England U17 skipper has chosen Dortmund due to the club’s long history of developing young talent and their policy of giving them the chance to play in the Bundesliga.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be disappointed to have missed out on the highly talented box-to-box midfielder. United pulled out all the stops, offering him a tour of their training ground with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Sky Sport’s Analysis on why the Midfielder is a top talent
Bellingham made his debut for the England U15 team at just 13 and clubs all over Europe have been targeting him for years. Now it is Borussia Dortmund prepared to spend big on Jude Bellingham.
At the age of 17, his transition to the senior game has been seamless. The touch and the class are apparent but he has coped physically too – putting in plenty of tackles – and handled the mental side of the step up impressively well. All the signs are that he is someone who is going to maximise his talent – and that maximum looks higher than most.
Birmingham were well aware they had a unique talent on their hands for some time and the club deserves huge credit for their handling of Bellingham’s development both before and after his breakthrough into the first team. His transition has not been by luck. It has been a carefully thought-out process in order to help him along each step of the way.
The question now is whether he is prepared to take the next step in his development. There will be those who fear it is too soon. He has been playing regular Championship football, after all.
But the next step for Bellingham is the Bundesliga and Borussia Dortmund were not the only ones convinced that this is a player who is ready for that step sooner rather than later.