Birmingham boss welcomes Bellingham interest amid Dortmund rumours
- Pep Clotet addressed growing speculation over midfielder Jude Bellingham's future at Birmingham City.
Birmingham City head coach Pep Clotet welcomed interest in Jude Bellingham as Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund reportedly close in on the 16-year-old sensation.
Bellingham has been heavily linked to Premier League powerhouse Manchester United, however, the Birmingham teenager is apparently set to become Dortmund's record signing at the end of the season.
SPORT Bild claims Dortmund – who already boast teenage stars Jadon Sancho and Erling Haaland – are poised to beat United to Bellingham's signature in a €35million (£30.2m) deal.
Bellingham was rested as Birmingham lost 1-0 to Leicester City in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday and Clotet addressed the speculation post-game.
"We played with a lot of intensity, we had a few chances and broke when we could, and it is not easy to break against sides like Leicester City." Pep Clotet gives his take on #LEIBIR.— Birmingham City FC (@BCFC) March 4, 2020
"I cannot tell you much more because first of all I am not aware because I am a head coach and it's not my area the recruitment, the ins and outs, and I haven't been informed yet," Clotet said.
"I have been focused purely on the game. But let me cut some speculation that might happen, that rumour that you mentioned.
"First of all, for us it is very good because that means for us, a club like Birmingham, to be able to attract the interest of so many big clubs for a player that makes it through the academy and that we play and that we help in the first team that is fantastic.
"But Jude was not here for that reason. He was not here because I wanted to rest him because his fatigue levels were a little bit high and I wanted to get him good rest to so he can be fresh and ready for Saturday.
"Because at the end of the day he is sixteen years old and he has been playing a lot of games lately and I didn't want to put too much load on him."
Bellingham – who became Birmingham's youngest ever player in 2019 – has scored four goals in 31 Championship appearances this season.Published 05 Mar 2020, 10:32 IST