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Jude Bellingham 'turned down Man City before deciding on Real Madrid move'

Jude Bellingham 'turned down Man City before deciding on Real Madrid move'
© Reuters
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham reportedly rejected an approach from Manchester City before agreeing a six-year deal with Real Madrid.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham reportedly rejected the chance to sign for Manchester City before deciding on Real Madrid as his next destination.

Speculation over the 19-year-old's future has dominated the talk of the transfer market over the past several months, with almost all of Europe's elite clubs believed to have expressed an interest.

Liverpool and Real Madrid were long considered the two leading candidates, but the Reds ultimately withdrew their interest, having decided that a move for Bellingham was out of their budget.

As a result, Real Madrid jumped to the head of the queue, although Man City - along with Chelsea, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain - were lurking in the background.

However, Dortmund have now confirmed that Bellingham will be sold to Los Blancos in a deal fetching €103m (£88.4m), which could rise to €133.9m (£115m) with performance-related add-ons.

Jude Bellingham in action for England on December 4, 2022© Reuters

The former Birmingham City youngster is expected to undergo a medical in the coming days before penning a six-year contract with Real Madrid until the end of the 2028-29 campaign.

According to Spanish journalist Jose Luis Sanchez - via the Manchester Evening News - Man City were one of several sides to approach Bellingham over a move to England, but their advances were rebuffed.

Man City have been charged with 115 alleged financial breaches by the Premier League, although it is unclear if the revelations and ongoing investigation played any part in Bellingham's decision.

Furthermore, the Premier League champions supposedly believed that Bellingham only had eyes for a move to Madrid, as he prepares to close a successful three-year chapter in the Bundesliga.

Despite enjoying a tour of Man United's training facilities, Bellingham left England for Dortmund at the age of just 17 in 2020, commanding a €30.2m (£25.9m) fee to depart Blues.

Jude Bellingham celebrates scoring for Borussia Dortmund on October 5, 2022© Reuters

The England international will leave Dortmund having amassed 24 goals and 25 assists in 132 matches for BVB across all tournaments, including 14 goals and seven assists from 42 matches in the 2022-23 campaign.

Bellingham has one DFB-Pokal under his belt from his time at Westfalenstadion, but Edin Terzic's side agonisingly lost out to Bayern Munich on goal difference in the 2022-23 Bundesliga title race, drawing 2-2 with Mainz on the final day.

Having missed out on a deal for Bellingham, Man City are believed to be working on a midfield acquisition closer to home as they continue talks with the representatives of Chelsea midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatian is understood to have agreed personal terms with Pep Guardiola's side, who could be asked to pay as much as £35m to bring him to the Etihad Stadium in the coming weeks.

Man City are still at risk of losing captain Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer at the end of the month, while doubts are re-emerging over Bernardo Silva's Citizens future also.

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