Man Utd transfer talks fell through before £45M star joined Liverpool in 2023 Transfers

Man Utd transfer talks fell through before £45M star joined Liverpool in 2023

Man Utd transfer talks fell through before £45M star joined Liverpool in 2023

Cody Gakpo, a rising star at PSV Eindhoven at the time, had attracted significant attention from several top European clubs, including Manchester United, due to his impressive performances.

Erik ten Hag, a fellow Dutchman, had shown a particular interest in Gakpo during the summer transfer window, seeing him as a potential key piece in his squad rebuilding efforts.

Despite the mutual interest and Gakpo's connections with the Dutch manager, Manchester United decided to pursue another target, spending a substantial sum to acquire winger Antony instead.

This decision left Gakpo at PSV for the first half of the season, where he continued to showcase his talent and further raise his profile on the European stage.

Man Utd transfer talks fell through before £45M star joined Liverpool in 2023

In an interview with Sky Sports, Gakpo has opened up about his experience during this period of uncertainty and speculation.

He revealed that there had been contact with Manchester United and Ten Hag, highlighting the complexities and often unpredictable nature of transfer negotiations.

"It was the summer before, I was in contact with the club and the manager — he's Dutch so I spoke to him as well. At the end of the day it fell through, that's it, and in the winter Liverpool came. It was the best decision for me," Gakpo reflected.

"I spoke to Ruud Van Nistelrooy a lot about United in the summer when the transfer looked like it may be coming. But in the winter, not really. It was Ruud's wish that I went to a big club — and I think I have achieved that with Liverpool. There was a lot of speculation in the summer. It was the first window where it was possible to move and so, yes, it affected me a little bit.

"There was one moment when I just said, 'forget about it, play your best game, and maybe it will happen next summer or in the winter'. That's what I tried to do and it went well."

When Liverpool showed interest in the winter, the dynamics shifted rapidly.

Gakpo describes the whirlwind of events that led to his signing with Liverpool, a process that moved so quickly it caught even him by surprise.

He had instructed his manager and brother not to burden him with transfer talks during the World Cup, wanting to remain focused on his national team duties.

Man Utd transfer talks fell through before £45M star joined Liverpool in 2023

The interest from Liverpool, however, was a game-changer.

"I heard about Liverpool's interest — and I think five days later the deal was done," he said, illustrating the swift nature of his transfer once discussions began in earnest.

Gakpo's recounting of the days leading up to his transfer paints a picture of a young player caught between the joy of the holiday season and the life-changing decisions of his professional career.

He emphasised the importance of Christmas Day, a time when he chose to disconnect from the ongoing negotiations to spend quality time with his family.

cody gakpo christmas day liverpool fc

Yet, the very next day, Boxing Day, became a pivotal moment in his career as the transfer to Liverpool was finalised.

"As soon as I heard about the interest, the feeling was, 'come on, let's go'. You have a second Christmas Day? Boxing Day, right? I was with the family — including nieces and aunties — and I was getting calls all the time about Liverpool.

"But on Christmas Day, I was not on my phone. That is a very important day so the phone was away. It was the very next day that it happened."

Gakpo joined Liverpool in 2023 for a £35 million fee that could rise to £45 million depending on bonuses.

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