Liverpool forward Cody Gakpo has revealed that he thought he was going to sign for Manchester United before his switch to Anfield.
Many had anticipated that the 23-year-old Dutch international would join Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford after moving on from PSV Eindhoven.
Instead he moved to link up with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield after a deal worth around £35 million.
The transfer is something of a surprise as Liverpool were believed to be in the market for a midfielder, having been linked to Chelsea target Enzo Fernandez, but instead swooped to reinforce a backline that had already brought in another Benfica player, Darwin Nunez, in the summer.
Following Manchester United’s decision to part ways with Cristiano Ronaldo before the World Cup, it had been expected that United would move for Gakpo after his impressive exploits in Qatar, but instead Liverpool moved quickly.
Speaking to the Mirror, Gakpo revealed that he had in fact come close to joining not just United, but also Leeds United, in the summer transfer window.
“It was difficult this summer. It was a very intense period,” said Gakpo. “I tried to find my peace, but it was difficult.
“I thought I was going to Manchester United, but in the end it didn’t work out. “Leeds United came in. They are a good club, but I asked myself if I should really go there and when you have a lot of doubts, it is not good.”
United are reportedly still interested in adding to their squad to replace Ronaldo, with neither Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford able to reliably score goals through the centre, and summer signing Antony plays on the flanks,
A loan signing is thought to be United’s priority given the tight budget following their expenditure in the summer to back Ten Hag after his arrival from Ajax to replace interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who left after a short-term deal.