Jude Bellingham was a Man Utd target before they lost in the Borussia Dortmund transfer race. Mike Phelan had advised them to pursue the teenager star.
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Mike Phelan advised Manchester United that Jude Bellingham be signed before Borussia Dortmund snatched the teenager.
At just 16 years old, the midfielder made his debut with Birmingham City.
United took notice of his performances and signed Bellingham.
He eventually decided to make the move to Germany. There, Jadon Sancho and others have flourished because of regular game time.
Bellingham has made a mark with the Bundesliga outfit and put in impressive performances on the Champions League stage.
If the Red Devils had acted earlier, they might have won the race for his signature.
Reports say that Phelan suggested United buy Bellingham after he watched a match between Birmingham and West Bromwich Albion. The Athletic
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Dortmund offered the opportunity to the teenager first team football. The Red Devils could not match this guarantee, which was critical in his decision.
United tried so hard to sign Bellingham, that they even asked Sir Alex Ferguson for a role during a tour to Carrington.
After missing out on the Dortmund star 18 months ago, the club is in dire need of reinforcements in central park.
Bellingham is also being considered for a move to Old Trafford, along with Declan Rice, a compatriot.
Dortmund would be able now to command a large fee if they cash in on the former Birmingham man. But their immediate priority will still be Erling Haaland.
United’s keen eye for detail continues to be a benefit to Phelan, and recruitment is part his responsibility.
Ralf Rangnick continues to share his knowledge with the assistant, who previously worked under Ferguson or Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Phelan said that he still uses an old-school approach when scouting but prefers to avoid the technological approach that is so popular today.
He stated: “Stats can give you evidence. I prefer to see it. I’m still pen and paper. I’m not on a laptop, press a button and it all comes up to you. I can get somebody to do it.”
Bellingham, who is still linked to a return to England has last month reiterated his support for the German side.
“I’ve never been part of a team that suits me so well,” he said in the ‘JB22 – Dortmund’s high flyer’, documentary via Bulinews.
“It’s so satisfying. It is the best club for developing young players and bringing them up to the next level.
“I want to develop here and give something back by winning titles and games. Dortmund is the perfect place to learn your craft and learn about the game.”