Borussia Dortmund are developing a knack for beating football’s biggest clubs to the services of emerging teenage talents.
Birmingham City prodigy Jude Bellingham appears to be the latest to make the Dortmund switch, with ESPN FC’s Stephan Uersfeld reporting the club are closing in on a deal for the 16-year-old.
That means Manchester United would miss out on Bellingham for a second time after its reported advances in January failed to come to fruition.
BBC Sport reports Bellingham has also been linked with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, and Manchester City.
Bellingham reportedly visited Dortmund’s training facilities, and the Bundesliga side are willing to splash up to €35 million on him. That amount would become a new club record, surpassing the €30.5 million spent to secure Mats Hummels’ return in the summer.
Dortmund might not need to pay a fee in the area of €35 million if Bellingham doesn’t first agree to professional terms with Birmingham City. In the event he doesn’t, Dortmund could sign the midfielder with a training compensation fee, like they did when obtaining Jadon Sancho from Manchester City in 2018 for €7 million.
The Germans have made a habit of signing teenage stars-to-be before turning a massive profit on them. Christian Pulisic joined the club as a 16-year-old and was sold to Chelsea for €64 million last January. Similarly, Dortmund lured highly coveted attackers Erling Haaland, Giovanni Reyna, and Sancho to the Signal Iduna Park for modest fees.