Former Manchester United player Rio Ferdinand revealed that Jude Bellingham rejected an opportunity to join the club in 2020, primarily due to concerns about receiving consistent first-team playing time.
At the age of 16, the talented midfielder, now a key player for Real Madrid, was highly sought after when he was leaving Birmingham City.
Manchester United made significant efforts to secure his services, even inviting Bellingham and his parents to visit their Carrington training facility in March, just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During this period, Bellingham was gaining attention from various clubs while actively playing for Birmingham City. Ultimately, he decided to sign with Borussia Dortmund in July of that year, believing the German club would provide him with the ideal platform for his career development.
Ferdinand disclosed that Bellingham’s rejection of Manchester United was due to his desire for assurances regarding consistent first-team opportunities.
Ferdinand mentioned on the Vibe with Five podcast, “Do you know what I heard it was… [Bellingham] wanted some assurances about being a first-team player, and United weren’t willing to give him those assurances, that’s what I heard from a very good source.”
Since his move to Spain, Bellingham’s performance has been exceptional. He has scored 13 goals in as many as 13 matches across all competitions and contributed three assists, solidifying his reputation as one of the world’s top players in current form.
The 20-year-old currently won the Kopa trophy at the Ballon d’Or Awards 2023, crowning him as the best young player playing in Europe.