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Chelsea tried as Man Utd rejected Southampton star Bella-Kotchap

Manchester United passed on signing Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap over the summer, it has been revealed.

It's only a little more than three months since Bella-Kotchap moved to Southampton for £10million from Bundesliga side VfL Bochum, but the youngster has played his way into Germany's senior squad.

The Sun says Chelsea made an attempt to sign him in 2020.

And then-Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick identified Bella-Kotchap as one of several top talents in Germany, along with Florian Wirtz, Luca Netz and Eric Martel.

German boss Rangnick, now head of the Austria national team, is renowned for spotting promising youngsters.

As it turns out, United waited until new manager Erik ten Hag was installed this summer before backing him in the transfer market, sanctioning a £55m outlay on Ajax centre half Lisandro Martinez and backing out-of-form captain Harry Maguire.



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