Manchester United football director John Murtough failed to persuade Jude Bellingham that he would be given enough first-team opportunities before the midfielder decided to join Borussia Dortmund instead, according to The Athletic.
The 18-year-old, who is now reportedly worth £90m, held talks with the Red Devils before he made the £25m switch to Germany in 2020. After he signed for Dortmund, the player explained why he snubbed a move to Old Trafford in favour of the Bundesliga club:
“The way they integrate young players into the first-team squad is next level. There is not a club in Europe that does it quite like them. The way they are pushed and can also be reeled back in. They can review your performances.”
Bellingham did emphasise that Dortmund was always his first choice but, even so, it appears Murtough was at fault in terms of not guaranteeing a pathway to the first-team for the teenager.
At the time, it wasn’t seen as much of a failure as Bellingham had yet to prove himself at the top level but, if United do choose to revive their interest in the player next summer, it could cost them the best part of £65m more than it would have done two years ago.
There will also be a lot more competition for the England international’s signature this time around with the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea reportedly keen on the player.