Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Manchester United never entered into negotiations with PSV Eindhoven over a move for Dutch Footballer of the Year Cody Gakpo, who is now set to join Liverpool.
The Netherlands winger had been heavily linked with United going back to the summer.
And Erik ten Hag is known to have been a keen admirer of the prolific goalscorer, seeing Gakpo as a potential option to bolster the Red Devils’ attack.
However on Boxing Day, Liverpool’s agreement over a fee with the Dutch giants was confirmed, which came as a shock to many United fans who would have thought Gakpo was Old Trafford-bound.
But now, speaking o his Daily Briefing, Romano claims that United only ever approached Gakpo’s agents, never once discussing a transfer with PSV.
“Manchester United had the chance to sign Cody Gakpo for a long time, but they never made any bid or negotiation with PSV. The talks were only between agents and never club-to-club.
“Erik ten Hag had his name on his list but Manchester United decided not to make a £40m bid for a winger in January.”
With United only yesterday coming off of a goal difference of zero following their 3-0 triumph over Nottingham Forest, it seems odd that they would not turn to a player as productive as Gakpo.
However the reliable reporter claims that Ten Hag’s primary focus is elsewhere on the pitch.
“I’m told Manchester United want a striker, not a winger. They will decide with Erik ten Hag. They’ve held conversations with Jorge Mendes as with other English clubs about Joao Felix but it’s not their only option.”
With Joao Felix also wanted by Chelsea and Arsenal, United will need to be decisive if the Portugal star is indeed who they want to sign.
Whether the 23-year-old can be prolific enough to improve the club’s goalscoring woes is unclear, with the player’s own history doing little to support that belief.
It seems that the priority for the manager will be keeping the goalscorers that he already has at the club in the long term, with Romano adding:
“Manchester United will meet with the agent of Marcus Rashford soon to offer a new long-term deal. Erik ten Hag is ‘obsessed’ with Rashford as a key part of his project.”
While a 3-0 win at Old Trafford will increase optimism among the fanbase, it would be no exaggeration to say that United could and perhaps should have seen off Forest by twice as many goals yesterday.
A clinical finisher could make a huge difference to the Red Devils’ top four hopes, but it seems that no such player is available in January.