PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo has confirmed that he came “close” to joining Manchester United after talking to Erik ten Hag.
The 23-year-old was on the radar of a number of Premier League clubs and looked likely to depart Eindhoven after scoring 21 goals in all competitions last season.
United were considered frontrunners to sign Gakpo, who looks likely to represent the Netherlands at this winter’s World Cup, if a deal for Antony failed to materialise, and at one point it seemed as though the Brazilian winger would be staying put at Ajax.
However, Antony finally sealed a move to Old Trafford late on in the window after United agreed to stump up €100m, and Gakpo’s proposed move to the 13-time Premier League winners went quiet.
In an extended interview with The Times, Gakpo has now revealed how close a deal was to being done, and hinted at his disappointment at not being able to join Ten Hag at United.
“I was close to leaving, I spoke to Erik ten Hag a few times at Manchester United,’ Gakpo said.
“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.
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“It 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.”
Gakpo’s chances of moving to the Premier League in the future have increased in all likelihood, following a fantastic start to the season. He’s bagged 14 goals in 20 games for PSV under the management of Ruud van Nistelrooy, and suggested that if the opportunity to move arises again, he’ll look to take it.
“I always said if I stay here, it’s my childhood club. It’s not a punishment,’ Gakpo continued. “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. At that time it was hectic for me but I recovered pretty quickly.”