Wayne Rooney hopes his old club Manchester United pip their rivals to the signing of Jude Bellingham.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder is one of the brightest prospects in world football. As such, a host of Europe’s biggest clubs are interested in taking Bellingham.
But it is likely to be a fierce battle with Dortmund under no financial pressure to sell. Rooney, now managing DC United in the MLS, remains a keen onlooker at events at Old Trafford. And he says he’d love to see the 19-year-old head to United.
Speaking on talkSPORT, the former England skipper was asked whether United should be targeting Bellingham in the summer to which he replied: “I hope so! I hope he doesn’t go to Liverpool or [Manchester] City!
“But I’m sure they’re doing their work, he’s probably the hottest youngster in world football at the minute. I’m sure United are looking at that as well, I know they tried to get him a couple of years ago, so I’d hope so. He’s a player that United could really do with at the minute.”
Rooney rates Bellingham highly, having played against him albeit when the pair were at opposite ends of their careers.
He added: “I played against Bellingham when he was at Birmingham and I was at Derby. And he actually man-marked me during the game, I think he was about 16, maybe just 17, and what I really liked about him is every time I passed the ball off, he’d leave a stud in on me.
“And I remember thinking, ‘he’s got something about him’. Just that mentality, even though he’s young, he can put some of that character into some of the rest of the squad in my eyes.”