BREAKING: PSV Star Cody Gakpo Admits He Wanted Manchester United Move To Happen
Cody Gakpo has admitted that he expected to join Manchester United this summer, only for the Red Devils to drop their interest and sign Antony from Ajax instead.
Erik ten Hag was eager to reconnect with Antony at Old Trafford, and after months of back-and-forth over a transfer fee, an £85 million transaction was finally finalised on deadline day.
Meanwhile, Gakpo was yet another of Erik ten Hag’s targets, with one report stating that they had reached personal terms with the 23-year-old.
The Dutch international has now slammed United’s treatment of their interest in his services, admitting that it was “not nice” for him or PSV to be “rushed” into making a decision on his future.
Gakpo told PSV TV via soccernews.nl: “Manchester United had reported at the beginning of the transfer window. We were waiting for that a bit.
“The signals became more and more positive and at a certain point I thought it might fall in that direction.
“That option faded a bit and completely last week. We worked the whole window towards it. Until last week I thought I would go to Manchester United.”
Gakpo also says that Netherlands manager and former Manchester United head coach Louis Van Gaal persuaded him to stay at PSV ahead of the World Cup later this year.
“I spoke to the national coach. I called him and asked for advice,” Gakpo added. “The advice was clear: that I had to follow my gut feeling, but that a transfer before the World Cup is not really ideal for the player, because then you have to get used to something. I agreed with him.
“It was all last minute for me, because until last week I thought I was going to Manchester [United].
“Then it was ‘choose another club’ and decide whether I wanted to go there. That is not nice for PSV and also not for me, because it felt rushed.”
Man United were not the only team interested in signing Gakpo, as Southampton and Leeds United also tried to sign him before the 11 p.m. deadline on Thursday.
The Saints allegedly had a proposal of around £21m rejected by PSV for Gakpo, and they stayed in talks with the Dutch club until the deadline, before failing to agree on a deal.
Meanwhile, Leeds director of football Victor Orta travelled to the Netherlands to discuss a deal to sign Gakpo with PSV officials, but the forwards is said to have turned down a late transfer to Elland Road.
Gakpo is glad that the transfer window has closed and believes he made the “right decision” by staying with PSV.
“I’m glad it’s over. For me it was the first window where it was stay or go,” the attacker added.
“In the end, PSV came up with a good offer that seemed to be the right choice.”
Gakpo, who has four years left on his contract at the Philips Stadion, was a standout in goal for PSV last season, scoring 21 goals and providing 15 assists in 46 games across all competitions.
The seven-cap Netherlands international has since made a good start to the new season, producing seven goals and six assists in nine games, including six goals in only four Eredivisie outings.