Manchester City

Manchester City

Premier League • England

Jude Bellingham ‘said no’ to Premier League giant other than Liverpool before Real Madrid move

Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid

Jude Bellingham of Real Madrid

Manchester City were rejected by Jude Bellingham before the England midfielder joined Real Madrid from Borussia Dortmund, it has been revealed.

Bellingham earned a huge move to Real Madrid this summer after three impressive seasons in Germany. Resisting any temptation to come back to his native country, he instead took on the illustrious challenge of making a name for himself in the Spanish capital.

His time at the Bernabeu has been a resounding success so far. Despite being a midfielder, Bellingham has scored 10 goals in his first 10 games for his new club.

The fact he is in such fine form for Real Madrid is good news for Gareth Southgate, but probably isn’t as warmly received by any of his admirers in the Premier League, who will presumably now find it even harder to lure him back to England any time soon.

Bellingham was previously linked heavily with Liverpool during the summer transfer window, until they opted against meeting his high transfer value.

Now, it has emerged that Manchester City were also strong contenders to acquire Bellingham, but his heart was set on his move to Madrid.

Jose Manuel Otero, a Los Blancos board member, told Remontada Blanca: “They told us this the other day at lunch with Girona. People from Manchester City came to eat and told us that they had been talking to Bellingham.

“They said that the father (Mark Bellingham) had entertained them a little by giving them hope, but Jude said no, that he wanted to play for Real Madrid.

“That is happening with many players. When the prospect of signing for Real Madrid opens up to them, they forget everything else. Madrid is the best way to achieve glory.”

IN FOCUS… The 10 most valuable Under-21 players in the world, featuring Jude Bellingham and new Chelsea signing

Bellingham is under contract in the Spanish capital until 2029. Still only 20 years old but already capped 29 times by his country, the world is at the former Birmingham City youngster’s feet.

Carlo Ancelotti has been deploying Bellingham as an attacking midfielder for Madrid, to mesmerising effect. Any dreams Pep Guardiola had about how to use him will have to remain in the realm of imagination.

Bellingham to Man City would have been frightening for the Premier League

Man City bought two new midfielders over the summer, signing Mateo Kovacic from Chelsea and Matheus Nunes from Wolves. Those bits of business accounted for the release of Ilkay Gundogan to Barcelona and an injury to Kevin De Bruyne.

Liverpool also adapted their midfield pool, welcoming in Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch after ruling out Bellingham. Meanwhile, the likes of Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Naby Keita and Fabinho left.

For Madrid, in contrast, Bellingham represented something of a luxury purchase, since they did not really lose any senior central midfielders unless counting Marco Asensio, who played more as a winger.

Had Man City got their hands on Bellingham, it would have been disastrous for anyone aiming to dethrone them as Premier League champions. The treble winners would have emphasised their power in the transfer market by adding such a coveted player to the ranks, who would have had a positive tactical and technical impact.

Indeed, Bellingham has taken every step of his career in his stride so far. Unfortunately for Man City, Real Madrid are at the very pinnacle of the global game when it comes to their appeal to world-class players – and they managed to charm Bellingham in this instance.

READ MOREMan City prepare serious move for top midfielder whose arrival will have declining star trembling