Home » Why Manchester United allowed Liverpool a free run at Cody Gakpo

Why Manchester United allowed Liverpool a free run at Cody Gakpo

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United have been beaten by Liverpool in the race for Erik ten Hag’s primary attacking target, Cody Gakpo.

Since the summer, United have had a legitimate interest in Gakpo but after dithering and behaving passively, Liverpool swooped in and hurriedly tied up a deal for the Dutchman.

News broke that Liverpool were close to agreeing terms for the 23-year-old before PSV Eindhoven later confirmed in a statement that the deal was sealed with Gakpo on his way to Anfield to complete his medicals.

Since then, there has been outrage from supporters who have accused club bosses of failing yet another manager.

A recent report indicated that United knew about Liverpool’s interest but chose not to compete with them, essentially allowing their bitter rivals a free run at the Netherlands international.

The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell reports on this, “Essentially, they [United] decided they could not afford him this month, especially when there remained some doubts about his suitability at centre-forward.”

“As recently as last week, Ten Hag and United’s recruitment staff, including football director John Murtough, looked at whether to pay the € 50 million (£44.2m; $53.2m) fee in the winter window, knowing it would come off the summer budget.”

“Sources insist Jurgen Klopp’s side were aware they had a free run.”

United explored the possibility of tapping into credit facilities to fund Gakpo’s purchase.

The club soon changed their stance and decided that January is a month for prudence. This gave Liverpool the impetus to press ahead and complete a deal for Gakpo.

Whitwell indicates that the feeling inside the club, however, is that the Glazers would be happy to sanction deals with the full knowledge that someone else will pick up the tab, with a takeover imminent.

United have now turned their attention to other targets, with an emphasis being placed on loan deals.

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