Bellingham’s £30m deal
Birmingham teenager Jude Bellingham will become the most expensive 17-year-old in football history when he signs for Borussia Dortmund. The midfielder underwent his medical yesterday after choosing the Bundesliga giants over Manchester United. He is expected to sign a five-year deal worth around £30million.
Jude Bellingham is set to finally complete his move to Borussia Dortmund, with the fee of around £30million making him the most expensive 17-year-old signing in football history.
Bellingham underwent his medical in Germany yesterday after the Bundesliga club persuaded the Birmingham midfielder to choose them ahead of Manchester United and Chelsea.
He then flew back to England and is poised to play for struggling Birmingham in their Championship game at Preston tomorrow.
United had courted Bellingham, with Sir Alex Ferguson, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Eric Cantona understood to have been part of the sales pitch, but he has chosen to join Dortmund as he believes they represent the best chance of progressing his career. He is expected to sign a five-year contract.
He will now have England international Jadon Sancho and Norwegian striker Erling Haaland as
team-mates, with Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre ready to call on Bellingham next season as the club attempt to challenge Bayern Munich for the title.
Since making his Birmingham debut at the age of 16 years and 38 days, the Stourbridge teenager has emerged as one of the most coveted young players in Europe. Equally comfortable as a central or defensive midfielder, Bellingham can score and make goals, and his reading of the game is outstanding for a player so young.
He now has 42 appearances in the Championship, yet there has been a buzz around Bellingham at the Midlands club since he was 12 years old. Birmingham’s youth coaches have always known that Bellingham would be the jewel in the academy crown: while studying at Priory School in Edgbaston, he once scored seven goals in a cup final. He made his debut for the club’s Under-18s at 14.
Yet his remarkable progress over the past 12 months has taken even Birmingham’s staff by surprise. Birmingham would have received just minimal compensation if a move had been completed before his 17th birthday, but any deal was put on hold to ensure the club would receive the fee.
Rapid rise: Birmingham City staff have been surprised by Jude Bellingham’s progress