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The 17-year-old, who was reportedly a target for Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, signed a five-year contract with the Bundesliga side on Thursday, the Times said.

Neither club have confirmed the signing as yet.

If the deal is confirmed, Bellingham would link up with England international Jadon Sancho, who left Manchester City to sign for Dortmund at 17

A smart move

United had been strongly linked to the 17-year-old since the start of the year with the highly-rated midfielder even taking a tour around the club's training facilities.

But Bellingham, who has flourished at such a young age in the physically-demanding Championship at Birmingham, looks to be making a smart move by opting for Dortmund where first-team football is far more likely. None of Manchester United's central midfielders are likely to be displaced by a 17-year-old.

Erling Haaland and Sancho are, of course, the go-to examples of young players flourishing in Germany and the England youth international will look to be the next big star off the BVB production line.

United's release of promising 19-year-old forward Angel Gomes perhaps suggests all is not well there for young players looking for meaningful progression, so Bellingham may have inadvertently dodged a bullet too by choosing Dortmund.

Additional reporting from Reuters.

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