League One promotion-hopefuls Sunderland are hoping to use sporting director Kristjaan Speakman’s close relationship with Jobe Bellingham’s family as they plot a move for the Birmingham City teenager, according to a report from the Daily Mail.
The England U17 midfielder became the Blues’ second-youngest player ever when he made his senior debut aged 16 years and 107 days old earlier in 2021/22 – putting him below only his brother Jude on that list.
Jobe Bellingham made his second appearance for Birmingham, and his first at St Andrew’s, against Blackburn Rovers on the final day of the Championship season but it seems Sunderland are hoping that will be his last for the club.
A report from the Daily Mail has claimed that the Black Cats are planning an ambitious move for the teenager and are hoping to use Speakman’s close relationship with his family to their advantage.
The Sunderland sporting director served as Birmingham’s academy manager before moving to the North East club and played an important part in the development of Jude Bellingham.
The report claims the 16-year-old has met with Speakman and was in attendance for a recent match at the Stadium of Light – though it is understood that any deal would likely hinge on Alex Neil’s side winning promotion via the play-offs.
This would be a really impressive bit of business if Sunderland can get it done.
He’s not quite at his brother’s level but Jobe Bellingham is an exciting prospect in his own right and looks to have a big career ahead of him.
Landing him is unlikely to be easy, not least because there have been links to Borussia Dortmund already, but in Speakman, they do seem to have a key advantage.
If they can make the most of that relationship it could be the difference-maker in a move that may pay real dividends further down the line.