Liverpool moved fast to secure a deal for Cody Gakpo that Manchester United had not even begun to plan an official offer, though there are claims that some at the club were not convinced by the PSV star.
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The 23-year-old is travelling to Merseyside to complete his move to Anfield after Liverpool struck an agreement with PSV worth an initial £37m.
Gakpo had been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with Erik ten Hag a big fan of the player and in desperate need of attacking reinforcements after Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract was terminated last month.
But, BBC Sport claim Manchester United’s scouting department were ‘never convinced’ about the player’s level of development and were wary of paying PSV’s asking price.
Although Gakpo has scored nine goals and provided 12 assists in just 14 Eredivisie games this campaign – as well as netting three times at the World Cup, though there were still some question marks over his ability to adapt to the Premier League.
According to the Daily Mail, the Red Devils never even got as far as finalising a first offer for Gakpo and felt the £44million valuation, with Liverpool paying another £7m in add-ons – was inflated.
When United were interested in the summer, they valued Gakpo at around the £30m mark – which is the figure Southampton and Leeds United agreed with PSV just a few months ago.
Another issue that affected United’s pursuit is the club’s situation away from the pitch, with the Glazers reluctant to invest much in transfers while they are looking to sell up.
With that in mind, the club will likely only be able to make loan signings in January – something which was never an option with Gakpo and allowed Liverpool to make the move.
Having missed out on the Dutchman, United could focus their attention on signing Joao Felix or Goncalo Ramos, with both players available on loan.