Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag made it clear he was keen on the transfer of Cody Gakpo this January, and was left very disappointed that the club missed out.
Liverpool ended up signing Gakpo instead, and Ben Jacobs notes in his exclusive CaughtOffside column that the Reds simply moved quicker to get the deal done, while Man Utd never made a bid.
The Netherlands international was a player well known and liked by Ten Hag, and it seems there were internal discussions about bringing him to Old Trafford, though the United board simply didn’t get moving quickly enough.
Jacobs suggests this may be due to current uncertainty over the club ownership, with the Glazers likely to sell in the early part of 2023.
This means it wouldn’t make sense for the Red Devils to invest big money in signings right now, but it will undoubtedly be frustrating for Ten Hag.
“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,” Jacobs said.
“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 ownership 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.”