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It was very close – £37m premier league star confirms Man United and Erik Ten Hag wanted to sign him



It was very close – £37m premier league star confirms Man United and Erik Ten Hag wanted to sign him

Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo has confirmed that he was in contact with Manchester United and spoke with manager Erik ten Hag prior to his move to Anfield.

The Netherlands international was reported as a top target for United in the summer of 2022 and he was continuously linked with a switch to Old Trafford.

However, the Red Devils made the decision to sign Antony from Ajax for £82 million up front to bolster the attack before the summer transfer deadline.

United were fancied to return for Gakpo in January 2023 with the need for a striker, but Liverpool pipped them to his services with an advanced deal in December.

Gakpo, who joined for £37m up front, has now revealed that United were indeed interested in him and there was contact with the club and Ten Hag too.

He told Sky Sports: “I think it was the summer before [I joined Liverpool] that I was in contact with the club [United].”

“I spoke to the manager [Ten Hag] from them as well, obviously, he’s Dutch so yeah, I spoke to him as well.

“But at the end, it didn’t go through and that’s just it. In the winter, Liverpool came… best decision for me.”

United should have signed Gakpo instead of Antony
Gakpo has not been exceptional for Liverpool since his move from PSV Eindhoven, but he has fared much better than Antony in terms of goal contributions.

The Dutchman has registered 18 goals and eight assists from 63 appearances for the Reds. He has averaged around 61 minutes per game for the club.

On the contrary, Antony has only nine goals and four assists, having played eight more games for United (71). He has managed around 64 minutes per outing.

Apart from twice the number of goal involvements as Antony, Gakpo cost £45m less in terms of the fee.

Gakpo has also offered plenty of versatility. Aside from playing up front, he has also operated from the left wing, right wing and in the centre of the park.

While Gakpo has been a reasonable signing for Liverpool, the same can’t be said about Antony amid his struggles in the Premier League over the past year

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