Man Utd duo take blame for failed Jude Bellingham transfer after 'rubbish job' in pitch

Jude Bellingham has become a Real Madrid superstar this season. (Image: Getty)

Manchester United welcomed Jude Bellingham to their training ground shortly after he made his debut as a 16-year-old at Birmingham and were desperate to land the wonderkid. However, despite their efforts, the Red Devils were usurped by Borussia Dortmund who later sold him to Real Madrid for £88.5million.

Bellingham has gone on to become a key figure for both club and country, and is set to play a big role for England at Euro 2024 after a maiden La Liga season with 16 goals from 23 games. United have lacked a midfield general in the ilk of Bellingham but could have landed the heir to Zinedine Zidane’s iconic number five shirt at the Bernabeu if not for a “rubbish” pitch.

Bellingham and his parents visited Carrington when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was in charge and had prepared a presentation for the teenager. He also shook hands with Sir Alex Ferguson and was given a guided tour of the premises, before chatting away with club legends Bryan Robson and Eric Cantona.

And Robson and Cantona have seemingly taken the blame for failing to convince Bellingham that Old Trafford should be his next destination. Robson, who made over 300 appearances for the Red Devils, but jokingly described his and Cantona’s pitch to the starlet as “rubbish” while admitting that they thought Bellingham would sign on the dotted line.

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Bryan Robson shouldered the blame for his “rubbish” pitch alongside another Manchester United icon. (Image: Getty)

“It was really disappointing,” Robson told the Telegraph. “We were at Carrington and Sir Alex Ferguson was there a little earlier than I was, but Eric and I met him, and his mum and dad, and we were chatting away. It was really looking promising that he was going to be signing for Manchester United… me and Eric did a rubbish job as he signed for Borussia! We thought we had him in the bag!”

However, another budding midfield starlet has taken centre stage at United in the form of Kobbie Mainoo. The 18-year-old may pair Bellingham and Declan Rice in Gareth Southgate’s team for the upcoming Euros and Robson has been delighted with Mainoo’s progress.

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“I love the lad’s temperament,” Robson added. “I see him at the training ground and he is always polite to everyone. That is a great start. I’ve heard his Dad is helpful and keeps his feet on the ground.

“My dad was a lorry driver and what he did was keep my feet on the ground and not get carried away with your own importance. That is a really important part at the age he is and the next couple of years of progression. He has the talent.

“Those goals he has scored recently, I love that. As a central midfielder, that is a massive part if you want to become a top player. Some central midfielders are very good at reading the game, breaking up the play and being in the right position all the time to set up play. But if you want to go to the highest level you need goals to your game.”