Frank Lampard asserted that, during his tenure as Chelsea manager in 2019, the club declined to approve a £20 million transfer bid for Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham.
Chelsea legend and former manager Frank Lampard was keen to bring Bellingham to the club when the young England international was establishing his reputation at Birmingham.
However, the Chelsea board turned down the proposal, expressing concerns about the teenager’s lack of experience at the highest level despite the high price tag of over £20 million ($25 million).
“When I was managing at Chelsea (first time) I was desperate to bring Jude Bellingham in,” Lampard revealed during a chat in the Obi One Podcast.
“But I couldn’t get it through upstairs – the idea of paying £20m for someone his age (at the time)”
Following that, Manchester United reportedly showed interest in Bellingham, and legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson personally conducted a tour for him at the club’s Carrington training complex. This ignited a competition between United and Borussia Dortmund for Bellingham’s signature, with Dortmund ultimately securing the young talent.
Bellingham went on to amass 132 appearances for the Bundesliga team before making a staggering €131 million (£114m/$138m) move to Real Madrid during the summer. He has enjoyed remarkable success, scoring 13 goals in 14 appearances for Los Blancos and winning the Kopa Trophy for being the best U21 player of the 2022-23 season.
It is still uncertain whether Bellingham will be available for Real’s upcoming match, as he had a shoulder injury scare during the game against Rayo Vallecano. Carlo Ancelotti’s team is scheduled to face SC Braga in the Champions League on Wednesday, November 8.