German newspaper BILD broke the story on Thursday night that Jude Bellingham has opted to join Borussia Dortmund over the summer in a deal worth €23 million. It is reported that he has signed on a five-year deal.
Der BVB’s track record of developing talented teenagers appears to have spun Bellingham in their favour, who will likely get first-team football alongside fellow countryman Jadon Sancho.
The recently-turned-17-year-old midfielder has chalked up 38 appearances for City this season, netting four goals and setting up three – very impressive statistics for someone who, under Football Association rules, is not even signed to the Blues professionally.
It is a significant blow for Manchester United, who went as far as inviting Bellingham for a tour of their Carrington training facility in March in an attempt to sway his decision. It was said that first-team minutes was to be a major factor in his choice, which would be limited at Old Trafford as a result of an already-packed midfield.
He's hot property, then, and is a significant boost to Dortmund’s roster, as they lose Mario Gotze from their midfield, as his contract runs out this summer. Bellingham could prove to be the missing piece in their title bid and holds the potential to put an end to Bayern Munich’s long-lasting reign.
Bellingham has all the ingredients to become a Dortmund legend. Parallels have been drawn to Emre Can in Lucien Favre's current set-up as the youngster is blessed with a similar knack of an eye for an incisive pass as well as a mature finishing touch well beyond his 17 years of age.
Speaking in October, when the speculation around the Englishman's future really started to circulate, Birmingham boss Pep Clotet said, "He can go forward, he can defend, he is very complete."
"He handles the physicality of the midfield very well."