Manchester United are reportedly ahead of their Premier League rivals in the race to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund when the youngster decides to leave.
The Red Devils were close to signing the 18-year-old before his move to Germany last summer, with Sir Alex Ferguson and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having met him and given the midfielder a tour of United’s training ground
Bellingham eventually chose to move to Dortmund for £25million in search of more first-team opportunities and has since become one of the hottest prospects in the world.
United could be the team to secure the signature of former Birmingham City player.
Speaking to the Sun, a source said: “United may have lost out last year when he moved to Germany, but the ground work they put in has made a lasting impression on Jude and his family.
“They were really impressed with the effort United made and the respect they were shown by everyone at the club.
“Meeting Sir Alex Ferguson was the icing on the cake.
“Ultimately as Jude has made clear since, he decided to move to the club where he could see he would play games straight away and gain top level experience week in, week out.
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“United couldn’t offer that, but his memories from that day and the interactions he had with the club are extremely fond ones. United did everything right so maybe in the future that will work in their favour.”
United’s chances of landing the Golden Boy nominee may also depend on how they perform in the league and Europe this season compared to their English rivals and whether Solskjaer is still the manager by next summer.
An agreement for Bellingham would likely put at risk any deal for Declan Rice, West Ham’s midfielder who United have been linked with recently.
Both England central midfielders would be a stretch financially for the Old Trafford club to bring in, though Paul Pogba’s uncertain future will also have an impact on United’s transfer activity.