Jude Bellingham rejected a huge contract offer from Manchester City in favour of joining Real Madrid this summer, according to reports.
The Borussia Dortmund star has been on the radar of Man City, Liverpool, Madrid and others for some time. Now, it seems his final destination is almost settled.
Indeed, Bellingham is one of the hottest properties in Europe at the moment. So, it must have been a major blow for Pep Guardiola when he turned down the chance to join City.
According to Marca, the England international turned down a £13m-a-year contract from Man City in order to accept the proposal offered to him by Real Madrid – which is ‘considerably’ lower.
Indeed, Bellingham is now expected to join Carlo Ancelotti’s team. Now, City and, indeed, Liverpool, have been forced to look elsewhere for a new centre-mid.
Interestingly, they have both registered an interest in Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch. So, we could see the Premier League rivals battle for him, too.
Marca’s report suggests that it was Man City who came closer than Liverpool to sealing a deal for Bellingham, though, which is contrary to claims from other outlets.
McManamon: Madrid will treat Bellingham ‘like a king’
Former Liverpool, Man City and Real Madrid player Steve McManaman has suggested Real Madrid is the best place for Bellingham.
However, he isn’t convinced that his switch to the Bernabeu is 100% done just yet.
Speaking to Spanish outlet Diairo AS, McManaman said: “Bellingham? Nothing is going to happen until the summer, if it happens.
“But, if Jude does sign for Madrid, he’ll be treated like a king.”
McManaman is certainly well placed to make that statement, given he is one of the few British players to play for Los Blancos.
However, Bellingham could find it difficult to break into Madrid’s starting XI. Indeed, with players such as Eduardo Camavinga, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric at Ancelotti’s disposal, the Englishman won’t get an automatic spot in the team.
In fact, Modric is expected to sign a one-year contract extension at the Bernabeu imminently. So, Ancelotti clearly still thinks the 37-year-old can still play a big role for Madrid.
Nevertheless, the youngster is still tipped to become one of the world’s best in the future. So he should be a massive player for the Spanish giants for years to come, if he joins them as expected.