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Chelsea looking to hijack Manchester United's pursuit of Birmingham City wonderkid Jude Bellingham


Chelsea intensified their bid to recruit Jude Bellingham prior to the coronavirus lockdown, with the club stepping up their efforts to lure the Birmingham City teen star away from a prospective move to Manchester United.

And Chelsea also remain locked in a battle with United over Jadon Sancho, though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains favourite to sign the Borussia Dortmund wide player.

All transfer plans are in abeyance at present given that the UK needs to concentrate on the national emergency and clubs are unclear as to how finances will survive football's shutdown.

But prior to last week's lockdown, Chelsea were in talks with Bellingham's representatives, with the player also wanted by Dortmund and Bayern Munich.

The 16-year-old Birmingham midfielder had previously been pictured leaving United's training ground in Carrington earlier this month.

Bellingham is 17 in June, when he can sign his first fully professional contract but any transfer may now be delayed because of the coronavirus crisis and the likelihood of the season running in the summer.

And Chelsea hope that Sancho could be persuaded to join Chelsea, the club he supported as a boy, and return to London rather than join United, even though his weekly wage is likely to be higher there.

Chelsea are attempting to reassess transfer plans in the light of the pandemic with Moussa Dembele and Nick Pope also on Frank Lampard's radar. 

Chelsea were understood to have first option on Dembele, the Lyon and former Fulham and Celtic striker, this summer and the move might have been worth around £60m. 

But with the season now prolonged and the ensuing financial crisis enveloping football since the lockdown caused by coronavirus, it's impossible to assess how much players will be worth. 

Pope is wanted by Chelsea to put pressure on Kepa Arrizabalaga, who has been dropped by Lampard this season.

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