Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Rio Ferdinand leaks excruciating reason behind bungled Man Utd move for Jude Bellingham

Real Madrid midfielder Jude Bellingham

The mind-boggling reason why Manchester United failed to sign Jude Bellingham back in 2020 has been revealed by Rio Ferdinand.

Bellingham is already one of world football’s elite midfielders despite being just 20 years of age. The England and Real Madrid ace finished 18th in the 2023 Ballon d’Or voting and also scooped the Kopa Trophy. That award is given to the best performing player under the age of 21.

Bellingham has been an instant hit at the Bernabeu since leaving Borussia Dortmund in a £114m (including add-ons) deal over the summer.

The ex-Birmingham City teenager took Zinedine Zidane’s fabled No 5 shirt and in just two months, has already scored more goals (13) than the legendary Frenchman ever did in any single season at Real (12).

Man Utd were only an outsider in the race sign sign Bellingham in the off-season. However, they were very much front and centre when Bellingham left Birmingham City back in 2020.

United rolled out the red carpet for Bellingham who was greeted by Sir Alex Ferguson, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona when visiting their Carrington complex.

However, United let a move for a player destined for greatness slip through their fingers. Borussia Dortmund pounced and quickly wrapped up an agreement worth an initial £25m.

Now, speaking on his Vibe with Five YouTube channel, Man Utd legend, Rio Ferdinand, has revealed what went wrong at Old Trafford.

Man Utd failed to make one key assurance

Ferdinand claimed a “very good source” told him United’s failure to assure Bellingham he’d feature prominently in the first-team was behind the player looking elsewhere.

On one hand, you may forgive United for refusing to make such a commitment for a player who was only 17 at the time.

However, it was always clear Bellingham was no ordinary talent and he became a guaranteed starter at Dortmund from practically day one.

“Do you know what I heard it was… he wanted some assurances about being a first-team player,” said Ferdinand. “And United weren’t willing to give him those assurances, that’s what I heard from a very good source.

“He wasn’t given assurances of being around the first-team and he’s said, ‘do you know what, I know my worth, I know my value and if you don’t value me the way I see myself I’m going to have to jog on and go to another club’.

“He’s gone and done that and turned around and gone: ‘I told you guys, you didn’t believe me did you’.

“And then he’s gone [to] Real Madrid and he’s tearing down the Bernabeu! Unbelievable.”

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