Manchester United have “never” been close to signing Borussia Dortmund and England sensation Jude Bellingham, as per Fabrizio Romano.
Bellingham is one of the most promising young footballers in the world.
He joined Dortmund from Birmingham City for a reported £22.5million fee back in 2020.
The 19-year-old has played 98 times for the German outfit and is also a regular in Gareth Southgate’s England squad.
Dortmund is known to be something of a stepping stone for young players to develop before moving on to a bigger club.
Erling Haaland is a perfect example of this. The Norwegian striker left the club for Manchester City in the summer window when the Premier League champions triggered his £51m release clause.
Bellingham is expected to be on the move next summer, but it does not look like he has a buyout clause in his contract which is set to expire in 2025.
There is a lot of interest in the Stourbridge-born midfielder, with City, United, Liverpool, Juventus and Real Madrid all believed to be keeping tabs on his situation.
Sky Germany reporter Florian Plettenberg has said the Reds and Red Devils are both in the running and have a “very good chance of getting him”.
“He’s an upcoming superstar player, and I am totally convinced that he will leave Borussia Dortmund in 2023,” Plettenberg told Sky Sports.
“Maybe to Liverpool, maybe to Manchester United, I think these are two teams who have a very good chance of getting him.”
Meanwhile, Sky Sports journalist Melissa Reddy has also said City are a team to keep an eye on.
“Manchester City will probably be sniffing around him,” Reddy said. “Because when you’re looking at your midfield for the next five years and what you can add to it.
“All of the top clubs would want him in their midfield.”
While Manchester United are expected to give it a go next year, it has been revealed by Romano that Erik ten Hag’s side have “never” come close to agreeing a deal to sign Bellingham.
They have been linked with the teenager for a while, with their name always mentioned in rumours about his next destination.
“There was a lot of speculation about him nearly moving to Old Trafford earlier in his career, but honestly, it was never close between Man United and Bellingham in the past.,” Romano wrote in his Caught Offside column.
“They were interested alongside many other clubs including Premier League sides and Juventus, but he only wanted Borussia Dortmund as the perfect step for his future – in my opinion, a very smart call.”
Romano has told us to be “ready” for Bellingham’s Dortmund departure in 2023.
“It’s not about the price, they just didn’t want to sell this summer. They will also try to keep him in summer 2023, but next summer it’s going to be a crazy, crazy race.
“My sources tell me – get ready.
“The Bellingham race will be between many top clubs, it will be similar to the Erling Haaland race.
“Liverpool need a new midfielder, so they will try, for sure. Real Madrid are also looking for midfielders, they’ve been following Bellingham for a long time.
“In England, Man City and Man United have also been following him for a long time.”