Soccer

Why Man Utd owners the Glazers and Ed Woodward axed Jude Bellingham transfer

Manchester United pulled out of the deal to sign Jude Bellingham because the board were against paying him £56,000-a-week, according to reports.

Last month, Borussia Dortmund confirmed they had won the battle to sign Bellingham from Birmingham City.

United had mounted a charm offensive on Bellingham and his family in a bid to convince him to join the club.

He was invited to United’s Carrington training ground and even met Sir Alex Ferguson.

But the 17-year-old still opted for Dortmund, who have a history of developing young players.

And despite just one year of professional football, the Bundesliga club paid £22.75million for the teenager.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer shrugged off the disappointment of missing out on Bellingham, insisting: “We’ll always look to our Academy and give the kids a chance because the Academy is fantastic, we educate players but also human beings.

“If we lose out on one, we’ll produce a better one.”

But according to ESPN, Solskjaer was planning on giving Bellingham at least 20 first-team appearances next season.

And Solskjaer’s plans were vetoed by the Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who were ‘reluctant’ to give the teenager a deal worth around £3m-a-year.

It is said, United are keen to avoid making the mistake they made with Alexis Sanchez, who earns a staggering £18.2m-a-year.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer says he is delighted to welcome back Chris Smalling from his season-long loan at Roma.

“I think Chris has shown, over his career at Manchester United, how valuable he is for United,” Solskjaer said at a press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Europa League second leg with LASK.

“This season was about him being a regular and going to Roma, showing and proving how good a centre-back he is.

“I wanted to give Harry [Maguire] and Victor [Lindelof] and maybe Axel [Tuanzebe] a chance and so he found out that it was best for him to go to Roma to play for a year.

“Now he’s coming back. Chris has shown this season that he will be valuable so I’ve been speaking to Chris throughout and been delighted with his season.”

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