Ferguson and Cantona involved in failed Man United bid for Bellingham

January 12, 2023

Birmingham City’s former CEO has revealed how Manchester United and Chelsea both failed to convince Jude Bellingham to join them in 2020 – despite throwing huge salaries and club legends at the teenage star.

Birmingham City’s former CEO Xuandong Ren has revealed how Manchester United and Chelsea both failed to convince Jude Bellingham to join them in 2020

Bellingham became the world’s most expensive 17-year-old when he signed for the German club in July 2020 for £25m.

It is well documented that Manchester United were desperate for the teenage sensation’s signature but former Blues CEO Xuandong Ren has revealed the lengths the Red Devils went to.

Borussia Dortmund announced the £25m signing of Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City in the summer of 2020

Ren, who headed up the Blues from 2017 to 2020, told Mundo Deportivo that United offered twice as much as the rest of the clubs interested and even used Sir Alex Ferguson, Eric Cantona and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to convince him, but to no avail.

Meanwhile, Chelsea were also scrambling for the now-England star’s signature but then manager and Blues legend Frank Lampard ‘did not convince him either’.

Ed Woodward (then United CEO) was the most insistent. We sat down and talked about how we could convince Bellingham. But Jude didn’t make any decisions based on money,’ Ren said.

‘They offered a lot more salary compared to the rest…Double. He was going to have guaranteed millions in the bank and he didn’t take them.

‘That’s not normal for a player at all. He sat down with Solskjaer, until Woodward brought Ferguson that day, another day to Cantona, to try to convince him.’

Ren revealed that the club used Sir Alex Ferguson, Eric Cantona and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer to try persuade Bellingham to join but it did not work..

Frank Lampard also tried to convince Bellingham to join Chelsea while he was manager but failed too

Ren has also opened up about Bayern’s pursuit of Bellingham at the point that the midfielder had decided on Dortmund.

‘Until the last day, when he was going to sign with Dortmund, I received a call from his father asking me to wait to sign the transfer,’ he added.

Bayern were trying to raise the offer at the last minute. They offered a lot of money as a bonus to the player.’

But Ren insists that it was never about money and Bellingham was only interested in the project ahead, which his family backed.

Following an incredible World Cup for England, Bellingham has once again attracted huge interest from Europe’s top clubs – including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Manchester City

Bellingham has since become a household name, having been hugely influential for Dortmund, before going on to perform on the global stage for England at the World Cup.

Bellingham remains Liverpool’s priority in the summer but they face competition from Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester City.

The 19-year-old could leave Germany for a cut-price deal with it believed that his contract at Dortmund contains an unconfirmed £60million release clause – a budget deal for one of football’s brightest emerging talents.