Exclusive - Borussia Dortmund are closing in on the signing of Jude Bellingham and could announce the deal early as next week - despite serious interest from Manchester United.
The German outfit have been battling United to secure the long-term signature of the Birmingham City midfielder, who is able to sign a professional contract when he turns 17 on Monday, for several months. Each club have tracked Bellingham closely during his breakthrough season in the Championship.
He had been one of United's three primary targets going into the summer transfer window, alongside Jack Grealish and Jadon Sancho, with United even treating the player and his family to a tour of their Carrington training centre in a bid to sway his decision. 90min also reported United had proposed offering Bellingham's younger brother Jobe a place in their academy as part of the deal, confident themselves that they had won the race.
However, while his family were impressed by United's proposal and the club have yet to admit defeat in their pursuit, Dortmund believe the player is theirs.
90min has learned Bellingham is set to sign a professional contract with his current club before being sold on. Dortmund could pay as much as £30m over the course of his spell in Germany, though it is not clear how much will be paid up front, or how much will be staggered in bonuses and instalments.
It's understood Bellingham and his family prefer he signs his first contract with the Blues to help ensure they get the best out of the deal. Were Bellingham to reject a professional contract with Birmingham, he could, in theory, join Dortmund for a small compensation fee. A far more lucrative deal is now ready to be signed off, however.
Dortmund, who ended their Bundesliga campaign on Saturday, believe they have secured the signing of one of the best young talents in world football, while United will have to reassess summer plans of their own once the transfer is confirmed.
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