Pundit Steve Nicol has told Manchester United to “forget” about completing a deal for Jude Bellingham due to Ed Woodward.
The Red Devils have been linked with a move for Borussia Dortmund star Bellingham, who left Birmingham earlier this year.
United were believed to be interested in the youngster while he was at St Andrews, though Bellingham joined the Bundesliga giants.
He has flourished in Germany and earned his England debut during the friendly win over Ireland on Thursday night.
United have struggled in recent transfer windows with Bellingham’s Dortmund team-mate Jadon Sancho on their radar.
Though executive vice-chairman Woodward has appeared stubborn in negotiations, and Nicol believes that comes as a cost for United.
Nicol told ESPN FC: “Well we know what they’re like, they can’t get anything done. So forget that.
“Sancho looks as though he’s the next one that will be coming to the Premier League. Jude Bellingham has only just arrived at Dortmund, let’s be honest.
“He’s still a little wet behind the ears, 17 years old.
“I think he probably will end up in the Premier League but I don’t think it will be for two or three years yet.
“It will be the same sort of timeline that the likes of Sancho and all the other Dortmund players that came to the Premier League will go through.”
Bellingham had spoken about suggestions he could move to Old Trafford shortly after joining Dortmund.
He said: “I chose Dortmund because it is the perfect step for my development. I am just glad that saga is over. It was a lot of annoyance to me and there was a lot of noise at the time when all I wanted to do was play for Birmingham.
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“Now I haven’t got the chance to do that anymore, but I would like to think I made the most of it.
“The record Dortmund have got with young players in recent years is unrivalled in European football.
“Weighing all that up and the people we met there, the stadium and fanbase, it made me fall in love with that club as well. I’ve met Sancho and we have spoken. He is a great example of what you can achieve if you do the right things.”