Bryan Robson has revealed he was convinced Jude Bellingham would sign for Manchester United after he, Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona held a meeting with the midfielder before his move to Borussia Dortmund.
Bellingham has emerged as one of the hottest young talents in Europe having swapped Birmingham for Dortmund and is expected to play a key role for England at the World Cup in Qatar.
He’s now heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga side with the top sides in the Premier League all said to be vying for his signature next summer.
But he could easily have spent the last two seasons with United and Robson has revealed he thought he had chosen to move to Old Trafford.
Robson told The Sun: “I watched him closely playing against City. You could see how much he’s progressed since we thought we had landed him at Manchester United a couple of years ago.”
On Bellingham’s decision to join Dortmund, Robson added: “Unfortunately for us he decided to move to Germany. We thought we more or less had him.
“Myself, Sir Alex and Eric Cantona all met him with his mum and dad at Carrington and after that meeting we thought he was coming to us.”
Robson has hailed Bellingham’s awareness and ability but urged him to “keep his feet on the ground”.
Robson said: “He has fantastic anticipation — as we saw in the way he darted into the box to put away his header. But he wins plenty of battles as well.
“A lot of people think he’s more or less an attacking midfielder but he can do the other side of it as well. He’s a good size. He’s pretty quick and in fact he’s got a bit of everything about him.
“What he’s got to do, of course, is keep his feet on the ground and work hard to be the best he can be. But you can see why he has become such a big target in the market because he is such a big talent.
“And if he keeps performing like he did against City he will be a big part of England’s World Cup bid.”