Former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has turned another potential summer signing away for Old Trafford, according to target Cody Gakpo.
Van Gaal made sure Ajax defender Jurrien Timber did not arrive at United earlier in the summer and now it’s emerged the Dutch coach made sure Gakpo would also not head to the Premier League.
United boss Erik ten Hag wanted centre-back Timber to bolster his backline options and made an approach for the player. United since landed his team-mate Lisandro Martinez, but not before Van Gaal made his point.
The 71-year-old, who managed United between 2014 and 2016, told Timber to avoid United. The Holland coach made it clear to Timber that his World Cup chances would be in doubt if he transferred to M16.
That left Ten Hag to look elsewhere with Martinez arriving in July from Ajax for £56.7m.
And now it appears the winger Gakpo was also told by Dutch national team boss Van Gaal to avoid the Theatre of Dreams.
Van Gaal advice ‘clear’
PSV flyer Gakpo was a serious option for United before they decided to land Antony. The 23-year-old has even admitted that he thought he was heading to United before their interest faded in the final week of the window.
“We worked the whole window towards it. Until last week, I thought I would go to Manchester United,” he told PSV TV.
United were not the only club chasing Gakpo. Both Leeds and Southampton pushed hard to land the 23-year-old.
In fact, as per Fabrizio Romano, Leeds agreed personal terms with the player and also offered more money to PSV than rivals Southampton. A fee of £38.8m had been put on the table by the Elland Road club.
But Gakpo revealed he sought the advice of Van Gaal before he made his mind up on his future. And it transpires that Van Gaal was not too keen on the winger moving to United or the Premier League.
“I spoke to other clubs, Premier League clubs which could be a good step. But there are more factors to consider, like the World Cup,” said Gakpo.
Gakpo now set for new contract
“I spoke to the national team coach [Van Gaal] and asked for his advice. His advice was clear. That I should follow my feelings. But that a transfer in a World Cup year is such a transition, going from club to club. It’s not ideal for a player, and I agreed with him.
“From my side, it was also a bit last minute because I was looking at United and then I have to choose a different club. It all felt like a bit of a rush. Plus, it wasn’t nice for PSV because it was so last minute.”
Now Gakpo, who has played for PSV since February 2018 after coming through the club’s academy, looks destine to sign a new contract.
Dutch outlet Voetbal Primeur has claimed the Eredivisie side have now come to the big decision of offering Gakpo a new deal.
His current PSV terms don’t run out until June 2026, but he is in line for a bumper pay rise.