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J. Bellingham

Bellingham explains Man Utd transfer snub as record-breaking 17-year-old thrives at Dortmund

12:46 GMT 03/11/2020
Jude Bellingham Borussia Dortmund 2020-21
The Red Devils were keen on prising the talented teenager away from Birmingham over the summer, but he took the decision to head for Germany

Jude Bellingham says Manchester United were never an option that he seriously considered when weighing up his future options, with the 17-year-old midfielder delighted to be at Borussia Dortmund.

After bursting onto the scene at Birmingham, sending records tumbling along the way, the talented teenager became one of the most sought-after young talents in European football.

His obvious potential registered on recruitment radars across Europe, with it quickly becoming clear that he would not be sticking around at St Andrew’s.

Premier League giants United identified Bellingham as a top transfer target, with the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona sent on a charm offensive.

The Red Devils were to be left empty-handed, though, a matter of months after seeing Dortmund beat them to the signing of Norwegian striker Erling Haaland, with the hottest of prospects opting to head for Germany.

Explaining that decision, Bellingham told The Telegraph: “Well, you know, Man United have a great squad but 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.

“For me, it was Borussia Dortmund and that’s it. When you find somewhere that’s the best place to be, you kind of ignore everything else, you know what I mean?”

The opportunity to form part of an exciting young squad in Dortmund helped to influence Bellingham’s decision, with fellow countryman Jadon Sancho one of several star turns to have seen their stock soar with BVB.

“I didn’t really speak to Jadon,” Bellingham added.

“I sort of spoke to him through other people. I would mention something and they would say, ‘Jadon thought the same about this or that.’

“I’ve said before how big of an example Jadon is for someone English and my age. We’re all trying to play but, specifically, we’re trying to make that next step into Europe’s elite.

“I think Jadon has done that perfectly and he was a massive factor in looking at his journey. Hopefully, I can mirror it.”

Bellingham is very much his own man and remains unfazed by the furore he continues to generate, with the Dortmund starlet now the youngest Englishman to start a Champions League game and to represent his country at U21 level.

“I never look at the records beforehand. If it happens, it happens,” he added.

“As soon as I’ve got one it’s always about looking forward to the next one. I’d never search for a record I could beat or adjust my game [for it].”