- Red Devils were keen on teenage star
- Ended up heading to Dortmund
- Bellingham linked with Premier League clubs
WHAT HAPPENED? The England international midfielder was an emerging talent at that stage, with Clotet the man to have handed Bellingham his senior debut at 16 years of age. It did not take long for Europe’s top clubs to spot the teenager’s potential, but an opportunity to enter into discussions with the Premier League heavyweights from Old Trafford was passed up because the youngster did not want to miss any time on the training pitch.
WHAT THEY SAID: Clotet has told FourFourTwo: “One day, the CEO said, ‘Jude isn’t going to be here today, because we’ve allowed him to go to a meeting with Manchester United’ – but Jude ended up refusing it so that he didn’t miss training. He was very clear to me that his priority would be a club who offered him a way to continue his development. He wasn’t thinking about money. Dortmund offered him a way to bed himself into the Bundesliga and play in Europe, our club did a brilliant negotiation, and it was win-win for all parties.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Bellingham eventually left Birmingham for Dortmund in the summer of 2020, with Xuandong Ren -the Blues’ chief executive at the time – revealing that United had offered the hottest of prospects twice as much money as anybody else.
IN THREE PHOTOS:Getty
WHAT NEXT? Bellingham is being linked with United again in the present, along with Liverpool and Real Madrid, with it possible that big-money bids – potentially extending into nine figures – will test Dortmund's resolve this summer as they seek to keep the 19-year-old in his current surroundings.