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Manchester United leading the race to sign £35m midfield starlet: report

Manchester United are reportedly leading the race to sign Jude Bellingham from Birmingham City when the transfer window reopens later in the year.

The 16-year-old has enjoyed a superb breakthrough season in the Championship with the Blues where he has already managed 32 appearances, contributing four goals and two assists.

According to The Sun, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have the advantage over Borussia Dortmund in the teenager’s pursuit, having impressed him during his training ground visit last month.

Bellingham alongside his parents made the visit to United’s Carrington base and he is said to have been blown away after he got the chance to meet senior officials including former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

Birmingham are expected to hand Bellingham with a professional contract when he turns 17 in June and it is reported that the Blues will demand an initial £35m fee for the youngster’s sale, which could rise to £50m.

At a very young age, Bellingham has shown tremendous potential with his ability to play anywhere in the midfield. The Stourbridge-born teenager has also featured on the left wing for the Blues on a few occasions.

He may not command regular gametime from the beginning with United but could earn valuable experience under Solskjaer, who is focused with the aim of building a young squad for long-term success.

United are prioritising a right-winger and a defensive midfielder but Sky Sports’ James Cooper has recently indicated that Bellingham will be viewed as a ‘bonus‘ signing and won’t hamper the club’s prospects of landing other targets.

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