Jude Bellingham and Kristjaan Speakman transfer claims strongly denied by sources
Sources have strenuously denied suggestions that Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman has or will in future benefit from financially Jude Bellingham's transfer to Birmingham City last summer.
Speakman played a significant role in Bellingham's development in his remit as Academy Manager as the then 16-year-old broke into the first-team picture and 44 appearances across all competitions last season.
Borussia Dortmund won the race for his signature in a deal reported to be worth in the region of £20 million, with add-ons potentially raising the final price significantly above that.
A report this morning claimed that Speakman, who was appointed to his new role in December of last year, had either received or was due to receive a six-figure windfall as a result.
Sources have told The Echo today that these claims are entirely without foundation and that there was no financial incentive in the deal for Speakman.
Bellingham's career has continued to go from strength to strength since making the move. He has made 35 appearances in all competitions for Borussia Dortmund this season and made his England debut in November of last year.
Speakman's role in the rise of a number of young talents at Birmingham City was the key factor in his appointment on Wearside, with Kyril Louis-Dreyfus placing long-term sustainability at the heart of his vision for the club.
Speakman spoke to supporters on a zoom call last week and stressed that putting a stop to the drain of talent from the Academy of Light in recent years was a key and personal priority of his.