Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd timeline on Jude Bellingham transfer revealed, as two midfield deals are resigned to the scrap heap

England pair Jude Bellingham and Declan Rice

Jude Bellingham remains top of the Man Utd wish-list and a timeframe for his transfer has surfaced, though two other deals have been deemed non-starters, per a report.

The Red Devils are pushing ahead with their quest to revamp their midfield this summer. Frenkie de Jong remains their top target at present, and the latest from the Athletic suggested the Dutchman is now open to moving.

De Jong can operate in a variety of positions in midfield, though his arrival alone won’t be enough to reel in the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool.

Upgrades on the likes of Fred and Scott McTominay will be targeted in future windows. Per the Athletic, Borussia Dortmund and England sensation, Jude Bellingham, is in United’s sights.

That is the view of their Man Utd expert, Laurie Whitwell. The journalist responded to a Mailbag question about United’s midfield plans and insisted Bellingham ‘remains top of United’s wish-list.’

In fact, Director of Football, John Murtough, was reportedly heavily involved in talks over a switch to Old Trafford prior to Bellingham choosing Dortmund.

The German club have previously gone on record to state at least £100m would be required to seal a deal. While that may sound extreme, Bellingham is already one of the world’s best midfielders and is only 18-years-old.

Bellingham’s current deal in Dortmund does not expire until 2025, meaning they’re under little pressure to sell any time soon.

Transfer timeline revealed

Regardless, Whitwell concluded any United approach for Bellingham won’t come until the summer of 2023 anyway. At that time, they’ll likely face stiff competition, including from Liverpool.

Regarding other midfielders United have been linked with, the trusted journalist noted moves for Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice are non-starters.

Rice is being priced out of a move by West Ham. The Hammers’ latest valuation of their star midfielder was £150m, far in excess of what United are prepared to pay.

Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips warming up for England

Phillips, meanwhile, may be on the move this summer with the article adding Leeds are ‘increasingly resigned’ to losing their ace.

Yet Phillips would have to ‘detonate his reputation’ by joining Leeds’ bitter rivals. Instead, a move to Man City looks the better bet and Pep Guardiola has made him a priority as he seeks a Fernandinho replacement.

Bellingham worth the enormous outlay?

£100m+ for a teenager would normally be seen as a massive gamble. However, that statement only rings true when the player’s reputation at that age is built upon potential, not what they’ve actually achieved.

At just 18, Bellingham already has over 100 league appearances to his name and is a regular in England’s midfield. If Kalvin Phillips cannot resolve his injury issues, Bellingham will be a starter at the Qatar World Cup.

Bellingham made the Bundesliga team of the season last year and is arguably at the best club to ensure his development continues at a rapid rate.

However, Dortmund are rarely able to retain their star players for more than a handful of seasons and few would be surprised to see Bellingham move on in the coming years.

Competition will be fierce in the extreme. But if Erik ten Hag can guide Man Utd back into the Champions League, they’ll have as good a chance as any of snaring England’s newest sensation.