Jude Bellingham set for central midfield role at Borussia Dortmund with Lucien Favre keen to use new £25m star as a No 8 despite making his name as a left winger at Birmingham
Sportsmail revealed in March that the Bundesliga club were favourites to sign the teenager and now Bellingham, who turned 17 on June 29, has completed a move that could be worth more than £30million to Blues.
He has signed a five-year deal worth about £50,000 per week – a remarkable rise on the £145 per week Bellingham earned as on a schoolboy contract at St Andrew’s.
New signing Jude Bellingham will not be on the wing under Dortmund manager Lucien Favre
It is understood that when Bellingham links up with Dortmund, he will fight with Julian Brandt, Emre Can and Axel Witsel for a spot in the middle.
Even though Bellingham operated on the left in the Championship, Dortmund believe his best position is as an attacking ‘No8’, with boss Lucien Favre expected to move between the 3-4-3 and 4-2-3-1 formations next season.
Dortmund fought off strong competition from Manchester United to sign Bellingham, with Sir Alex Ferguson present when he was given a tour of the club’s Carrington training base in March.
Jadon Sancho’s success at Dortmund is one of the factors that is believed to have swayed Bellingham, as is the immediate chance to play first-team football and Dortmund’s success with some of the world’s top young players like Sancho, Erling Haaland and Achraf Hakimi.
Bellingham said: ‘I can’t thank Birmingham enough for what they have done for me, not just this past year but since the age of seven.
‘However, I’m incredibly excited to have joined one of Europe’s biggest clubs. The direction they are heading in and how much they help to improve young players made it an easy decision for myself and my family.’
Bellingham was welcomed to Dortmund by a video of his new team-mates singing The Beatles’ classic ‘Hey Jude’. He will be available for Birmingham’s final game of the Championship season, at home to Derby tomorrow/on Wednesday, as they seek the win that will secure their status in the second tier.
Bellingham then expects to join his new colleagues for pre-season just eight days later, and will travel with them to the Swiss spa town of Bad Ragaz for a training camp starting on August 10.