Jude Bellingham has insisted that Borussia Dortmund were the only club that he was thinking of moving to ahead of his switch from Birmingham City last summer despite Manchester United’s interest.
There was a lot of speculation surrounding Bellingham’s long-term future ahead of last summer’s transfer window and Manchester United were reportedly trying to convince the midfielder to make the switch to Old Trafford. It was reported that United had pulled out all of the stops to convince him to move to them giving him a tour of their training complex and even an audience with Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, in the end, it was Dortmund who managed to secure his much sought-after signature with the Bundesliga side paying a fee that could rise up to £30 million for him. Since then, Bellingham has managed to establish himself as a key player for the German side and has made 22 Bundesliga appearances and also eight in the Champions League so far this term.
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Speaking to FourFourTwo, Bellingham outlined that he was always planning to choose Dortmund in the summer despite Manchester United’s attempts to convince him to pick a move to Old Trafford. He believes that the Bundesliga side offers a clear pathway for players of his age to come into the side and thrive if they do the right things on the training ground.
He said: “United have a fantastic squad, but I was so focused and so happy with the interest from Dortmund that this became my first choice,” he declares. “It was never a case of this club over this club. For me, it was always Borussia Dortmund, and that’s it.
“The only thing I was bothered about while making my decision was playing football, and this was the best place to do that.
“It’s as clear as day that if you come here and do the right things, you’re going to get your opportunity.”
The last thing that Birmingham fans would have wanted to see would have been for Bellingham to move to a massive club and then spend time sat on the bench or out of the squad. There was always unwavering belief amongst Blues supporters that the midfielder could justify starting games at the highest level straight away despite being so young.
Bellingham showed real maturity in his decision-making not to have been impacted by Manchester United’s advances. After all, it must be hard to turn down a club with their size and history at just 17-years-old. However, he proved that he wants to prioritise playing time and his development over wages and prestige.
You would have to say that the way things have gone for him in Germany, he made the absolute right decision for his career. With Dortmund, he has already done enough to earn a senior England call-up and should be firmly in contention for the squad for the Euros in the summer. It seems his career is only heading in one direction following his switch to the Bundesliga.