Jude Bellingham rejected Man Utd despite the Premier League club offering “double” what their rivals were offering, according to former Birmingham City CEO Dong Ren.
The England international made the move from Birmingham to Borussia Dortmund in 2020 for an initial £25m fee with the potential for that to rise depending on performance-related add-ons.
Man Utd were firmly in the frame for his signature at the time with Chelsea, Leicester City, Wolves and Bayern Munich amongst other possible destinations for the youngster.
He eventually opted for Dortmund as he thought it would give him the best chance to develop despite bigger financial offers elsewhere.
And Ren claims Man Utd offered Bellingham much more money than the other clubs with former Red Devils executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward the “most insistent” about a deal.
Ren told Mundo Deportivo: “United made the biggest offer we received compared to Bayern, Dortmund, Leicester or other clubs like Wolves.
“Ed Woodward was the most insistent. We sat down and talked about how we could convince Bellingham. But Jude didn’t make any decisions based on money.
“They offered much more salary compared to the rest. Maybe double.
“He was going to have guaranteed millions in the bank and he did not take them. That’s not normal for a player at all.”
Man Utd pulled out all the stops to sign Bellingham with the club arranging a meeting with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer before he met Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Cantona.
Ren added: “He sat down with Solskjaer, until Woodward brought Ferguson that day, another day to Cantona, to try to convince him.
“He chose Dortmund over Bayern despite not being sure to win titles and money. He put all that behind his development. How many players would do that?
“Because nothing is guaranteed at Dortmund. It might not have turned out well.”
Bellingham has already played 112 times for Dortmund at the age of 19 and now looks likely to move on again in the summer transfer window with big interest from Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid.
But former Liverpool midfielder Didi Hamann has warned the Reds about paying over the odds for Bellingham.
Hamann told talkSPORT: “He’s an exceptional talent, he showed that at the World Cup, but if Dortmund ask for £100-million odd, £140-150 million, it’s a big risk as well.
“I think with Bellingham he’s got to find a position. He models himself of Steven Gerrard but I don’t think he’s got the ability and pace going forward like Gerrard has.
“I think you need to wait and see where he finds his spot in the midfield two or midfield three in the future, and to play £150million for an 18 or 19-year-old, I think it’s a big risk.”
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