Manchester United have been dealt a huge blow in their transfer plans as World Cup star Jude Bellingham has already decided that his next club after Borussia Dortmund will be La Liga giants Real Madrid.
That is according to Spanish outlet AS, who claim that the 19-year-old has no intention of returning to the Premier League.
Despite intense interest from Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, and United, Bellingham reportedly believes a return to England would not aid his development nearly as much as a move to another top European country.
And Real Madrid looks to be the ideal destination for both the midfielder and his club, with Dortmund president Hans-Joachim Watzke enjoying a good relationship with the Los Blancos.
The Bundesliga club have had preferential access to a number of top young players from Madrid, including Achraf Hakimi and Reinier.
It is believed tat an offer of around €120m would be enough for the La Liga side to secure Bellingham’s signature.
The England star has been fantastic since breaking into Dortmund’s first team, and his exceptional showings at the FIFA World Cup have only increased speculation surrounding his future.
Erik ten Hag is known to be a keen admirer, seeing in him the ball carrying ability that led to Man United’s (failed) pursuit of FC Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong in the summer.
However, with Bellingham having already turned down the Red Devils prior to moving to Germany, and with the player now having his pick of practically any club in Europe, a move to Old Trafford may never have really been on the cards.
Recently the midfielder appeared to slam the door on such a move, abruptly saying “No,” when asked by a fan if he was going to move to United.
Bellingham moving to Madrid could well be taken as a positive by United fans, as it would at least mean that they will not have to watch the player turn out for one of their biggest rivals.
Such a situation has already taken place with Erling Haaland, who the club tried to sign before his move to Dortmund, and now leads the line for City.
The hope now will be that United are able to adequately reinforce both the midfield and attack with players who can step up to the plate and thrive under Ten Hag’s management.
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