Man United plan stunning Bellingham swoop - sources

By Fraser Fletcher, Transfer Correspondent

23rd Mar, 2023 | 6:45am

Sources: Sheikh Jassim is 'huge' Jude Bellingham fan as Man United plot record bid

Man United are planning to enter the race to sign Jude Bellingham should the Qatari bid for the club prove to be successful, sources have told Football Insider.

The head of the group Sheikh Jassim bin Hamad is believed to be a “huge fan” of the Borussia Dortmund superstar and could move to make him a marquee signing.

This would be a stunning move from Manchester United but a difficult one to pull off as time and competition from fellow elite clubs is against them.

The deadline for the takeover has been extended as bids for the club were submitted on Wednesday night and, for any major deal to be done this summer, the takeover would have to happen quickly.

Liverpool have been working hard for a long time on laying the groundwork for the Bellingham deal and are still seen by those close to the situation to be narrow favourites for his signature despite reports they will not be able to afford him.

Sources have told Football Insider there is growing talk from those near to Sheikh Jassim that a huge war chest will be at Erik ten Hag’s disposal if they buy the club and they will immediately go all out for the England star.

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Manchester City and Real Madrid are also keen on his signature in what what will be an elite-club race for one of the world’s most in-demand players.

United will also likely to be able to offer Champions League football and the promise that Bellingham will be a star player at the club straight away.

With two years remaining on Bellingham‘s contract and no release clause agreed, Dortmund are believed to be determined to secure a club-record fee exceeding the €144m (£126m) received for Ousmane Dembele’s 2017 move to Barcelona.

That lofty expectation allied to the spending power of Liverpool’s competitors has led to suggestions that they are being squeezed out of the race for the player at this early stage.

In other news, Kieran Maguire on Man United takeover: Glazers to ‘cash in’ with £246billion partner