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Ole Gunnar Solskjær reveals why Jude Bellingham rejected Man United and details Premier League star who he “should’ve” signed



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Credit: Stick to Football

Ole Gunnar Solskjær has revealed that Manchester United were close to Jude Bellingham during his time as manager, but he regrets not pursuing another Premier League talent.

Former Manchester United manager Solskjær tried to sign young talent Bellingham before he departed his boyhood club Birmingham City in 2020, but the midfielder was ultimately unconvinced despite efforts from former United legends.

Bellingham has since announced himself as one of the best prospects in world football, scoring 20 goals in 30 since joining Real Madrid for in a €133.9m deal last summer.

Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast, Solskjaer detailed: “Jude [Bellingham], he was in the building.

“I was there, Sir Alex Ferguson was there, Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona were all there that day when he came to the club. We all spoke to him and sold it as well as he could.

“He knew what he wanted a certain amount of minutes in the first team. He was 17 at the time, and he was the most mature 17-year-old I’ve ever met – he had it all planned out.”

Unfortunately for United fans, a lack of guaranteed minutes is what ultimately swayed Bellingham away from Old Trafford, instead choosing to sign for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund for around €30m.

However, Bellingham wasn’t the only young English midfield talent that Solskjaer admired during his time as Manchester United manager.

The Norweigan revealed that Declan Rice was another player that he had considered signing for United, and regrets not pursuing the 25-year-old further.

He continued: “I really like him [Declan Rice] as a player – we’ve discussed him a few times, and I think we would’ve done well with him in midfield.

“His legs, covering the pitch, and I think he improved a lot on his playmaking as well.

“Obviously, he would’ve cost some money, but we could’ve and should’ve gone for him.”

With Solskjaer also revealing that he had urged his former club to sign Erling Haaland, Manchester United fans will no doubt be disappointed that the Glazers failed to facilitate a move for several of Solskjaer’s top targets.