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Gakpo’s regrets missed chance to join United

The PSV striker told The Times that he came very close to joining Manchester United over the summer: “I spoke to Ten Hag a couple of times.

Gakpo, against Utrecht.
Soccrates ImagesGetty

What a season it’s turning out to be for Cody Gakpo, who is being talked about as one of the best players in Europe right now. His figures are spectacular (13 goals and 11 assists) and he seems destined to make the leap to a bigger league sooner rather than later. Ahead of Thursday’s league game against Arsenal, he gave an interview to The Times in which he revealed details about a big transfer which came close to happening in August.

“I was close to leaving PSV. I spoke to Ten Hag a couple of times and in the end the deal didn’t go through, which was a shame, for me and my development, and because Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world, but also for PSV, because to transfer a player to Manchester United is a good thing for the club.” , explains the Dutch international. “[Talks with Manchester United] ended about a week before the end of the transfer window and in that week I had to decide if I would go to Leeds or Southampton. In the end I stayed, but it was a stressful period”.

It appears that Manchester United probably had to decide between signing Antony or Gakpo. The conviction shown by the Brazilian, who refused to train with Ajax until a deal was struck with United, could have been the deciding factor. Another being his position - the priority was to find a player for the right wing more than the left, and Antony fit the bill. He arrived in Manchester on 30 August, not long after talks with Gakpo ended.

“At that time it was hectic for me but I recovered pretty quickly, Gakpo explained. And he proved it on 31 August by scoring a hat-trick in the 7-1 win against Volendam. “I always said if I stay here, it’s my childhood club. It’s not a punishment. I like being here, I want to win trophies here and do my best for the club. But if I got the chance to go to the Premier League or something, of course I would have to consider that option”. The ways things are going, he could realise his dream sooner rather than later.