Man Utd legend reveals he did a 'rubbish job' of convincing Jude Bellingham to join Red Devils

  • Bryan Robson has admitted he was unable to convince Jude Bellingham to sign for Manchester United
  • Robson became United's longest-serving captain after signing in 1981
  • The former midfielder was 'disappointed' to see Bellingham sign for Borussia Dortmund
Bellingham could have made a move to United
Bellingham could have made a move to United / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Manchester United legend Bryan Robson has joked that he did a "rubbish job" of persuading Jude Bellingham to make a move to Old Trafford ahead of his eventual deal with Borussia Dortmund.

Robson, who enjoyed an incredible career at United for over a decade, won two Premier Leagues, three FA Cups and scored 99 goals for his club, and had the chance to help the Red Devils snap up another midfield superstar when he met Bellingham and his family in 2020.

"It was really disappointing," Robson recalled to The Telegraph. "We were at Carrington and Sir Alex Ferguson was there a little earlier than I was, but Eric [Cantona] and I met him, and his mum and dad, 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 [Dortmund]. We thought we had him in the bag."

Bryan Robson
Robson became one of United's greatest players / Getty Images/GettyImages

Rather than take his talents to Manchester, Bellingham signed for Dortmund in the summer of 2020, after impressing at Championship side Birmingham City. He became the Blues' youngest ever first-team player when he burst on to the scene in 2019, and has since risen to become a star for both Real Madrid and England.

Robson is proud to see another youngster in the United squad as he praised the emergence of fellow midfielder Kobbie Mainoo.

"I love the lad's temperament," Robson continued. "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. 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."