Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo admits that a transfer to Man United “looked like it may be coming” in the summer transfer window.
The Netherlands international had interest from the Red Devils, Leeds United, Southampton, and others in the summer but he eventually stayed at PSV Eindhoven until January 2023.
On Boxing Day it was announced that Liverpool had won the race for Gakpo in a surprise move that cost the Reds around £40m.
Gakpo, who contributed nine goals and 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie matches earlier this season, joined Liverpool on January 1 but has so far failed to live up to the hype after also bagging three goals at the World Cup.
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And the 23-year-old has revealed that he spoke to Ruud van Nistelrooy in the summer about a potential move to Man Utd and admits his early-season form was impacted as a result.
“To be honest, I spoke to him a lot about United in the summer when the transfer looked like it may be coming,” Gakpo said of Van Nistelrooy.
“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.
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“But then 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.
“I heard about Liverpool’s interest, and I think five days later the deal was done. My manager and brother knew about it for a longer time, but I said to them at the World Cup not to tell me anything because I have to focus.
“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.”