Borussia Dortmund are on the verge of agreeing a five-year deal to sign Birmingham City’s Jude Bellingham.
The Bundesliga club have courted the midfielder, who turned 17 last week, for more than two years, amid stiff competition from most of Europe’s top teams, including Chelsea, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and most notably Manchester United.
For now, no deal has been signed, but Dortmund believe they have broad agreement on all key issues and have secured the services of one of Europe’s most exciting talents.
Although Bellingham has not signed a professional contract with City, it’s understood they will receive a transfer fee in excess of the £21m which has been reported on Friday morning.
City’s policy could have risked losing their prised possession for a much smaller fee decided by tribunal.
However, the level of interest from Europe’s elite – plus their strong relationship with both the player and his family – meant the player has not signed a pro contract.
Bellingham will see out the remainder of the season at the Midlands club and is in the matchday squad for Saturday’s Championship clash at Fulham.
The England U17 skipper has chosen Dortmund due to the club’s long history of developing young talent and their policy of giving them the chance to play in the Bundesliga.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be disappointed to have missed out on the highly talented box-to-box midfielder. United pulled out all the stops, offering him a tour of their training ground with Sir Alex Ferguson.
Bellingham made his debut for the England U15 team at just 13 and clubs all over Europe have been targeting him for years. Now it is Borussia Dortmund prepared to spend big on Jude Bellingham.