Erik ten Hag’s true feelings on Man Utd missing out on Liverpool new boy Cody Gakpo have emerged, and a trusted source has hinted at who is to blame for the transfer failure.
The former PSV Eindhoven attacker ended up joining Liverpool on a deal worth an estimated £40m, despite the Red Devils having Gakpo on their radar dating back to the summer.
The Netherlands international is well-known to Ten Hag who managed PSV’s rivals Ajax prior to joining Manchester United. Furthermore, the Dutch boss spoke regularly with his fellow countryman regarding a potential move last summer.
But despite Ten Hag’s interest in bringing Gakpo to Old Trafford, the forward ended up heading to Merseyside, partly thanks to a phone call by Virgil van Dijk.
Now, according to respected journalist Ben Jacobs, another contributing factor for United missing out on Gakpo is the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the club’s ownership, with the Glazers likely to sell up early this year.
Jacobs suggested it wouldn’t be logical for the Red Devils to splash the cash on big signings right now as they don’t know what their financial position will be in a couple of months.
If true and the Glazers are responsible for Liverpool being able to hijack Gakpo’s move, the United fanbase will have a new stick to beat their maligned American owners with.
“Crystal clear” Ten Hag wanted Cody Gakpo
Writing for CaughtOffside, Jacobs said: “It’s crystal clear that, internally, Erik ten Hag wanted the player, and Manchester United started a dialogue on the player’s side to get a full buy-in.
“Beyond that, however, they didn’t do much – Ten Hag would’ve liked Gakpo, but United didn’t move.
“This either means they were too slow, or, more likely, the owners weren’t ready to move because they don’t want to spend too big in January, because there is the feeling that a new owner could be ready to invest soon, in early 2023.
“If the Glazers have this outgoing plan, then it would be logical that they wouldn’t want to spend that kind of money even if Ten Hag wanted the player.
“Ten Hag wanted to move for Gakpo and is very disappointed that Liverpool signed him.”
Man Utd could regret Gakpo miss
Indeed, United may end up regretting the fact that they didn’t sign Gakpo, as the 23-year-old could prove to be an essential player for Liverpool this season, as well as in the future.
Looking at his stats, the Dutch international has the potential to ignite Liverpool’s ailing season and given their push for the top four a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Gakpo will slot straight onto Liverpool’s left wing given the current injuries to Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz. He’s expected to make his debut against Wolves in the FA Cup on Saturday night.
Gakpo is also versatile, in that he can play as a left or right winger, or even as a centre-forward. He’ll give Klopp plenty of options moving forward and ensure the German never has to place square pegs in round holes.
He has plenty of valuable experience under his belt, too. Gakpo played a key part in the Netherlands’ World Cup campaign, scoring three goals in total against Senegal, Qatar and Ecuador, as his country reached the quarter-finals.
The ultimate irony United fans – and Ten Hag – won’t want to consider would be Gakpo’s goals firing Liverpool to top four at the Red Devils’ expense.
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