Manchester United football director John Murtough could have reportedly played a big part in the club missing out on Jude Bellingham in 2020.
When Bellingham broke into the scene while still a promising 16-year-old at Birmingham, United were one of the clubs interested in his services.
A former Birmingham City advisor later revealed that Bellingham was destined to join the Red Devils and this was largely the belief at St Andrew’s.
United even enlisted the services of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson when Bellingham and his family visited Carrington, to help convince the player that his future was at Old Trafford.
However, things did not materialize. Bellingham elected to complete a move to Borussia Dortmund.
The England international spent an incredibly successful three years in the Bundesliga before he earned a big-money move to Real Madrid in the summer.
He has been a sensation at the Santiago Bernabeu. He has registered 17 goals and five assists in 21 games across all competitions for Los Blancos.
Time and time again, Bellingham has left United ruing why they missed out on the chance to add him to their ranks.
According to The Athletic, Murtough likely messed up United’s presentation to Bellingham and his representatives when they visited Carrington.
Laurie Whitwell explains that there were disagreements between Murrtough and Sir Alex during the event and at some point, things almost spilled over.
“There were also tempestuous scenes involving Murtough and Ferguson. United’s greatest manager was enlisted by Solskjaer to assist on the charm offensive for the Carrington visit of Birmingham City midfielder Jude Bellingham in March 2020. ”
“Solskjaer and his assistants had prepared an analytical presentation to prove Bellingham’s prospects in the first team, as well as compiling detailed personal reports, and felt Ferguson would add a glamorous finish.”
“Murtough had a different view of how to approach the sales pitch, however. Ferguson shook hands with Bellingham, 16 at the time, but rather than allow them time to talk, sources say Murtough guided the player and his parents out of the room for a tour of the facilities.”
The Athletic adds, “Ferguson was reportedly incandescent at the perceived slight and said so to Murtough’s face at a later date. Murtough has told people he did not interrupt the meeting and that, as with the Butt fall-out, any tension was the result of a misunderstanding.”
It has repeatedly stated that as Sir Jim Ratcliffe closes in on his 25% partial investment into United that will see the INEOS billionaire granted full control of the club’s sporting operations, Murtough’s job is not secure.
Revelations like how he scuppered the Bellingham deal reinforce the idea that Murtough needs to depart for United to have a clean break going forward.