Football

Memphis Depay plays down Premier League speculation

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Manchester United transfer target Memphis Depay has attempted to defuse speculation surrounding his future at PSV Eindhoven.

The 20-year-old winger - dubbed ‘the new Cristiano Ronaldo’ - has also been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, as Premier League interest starts to grow in the talented youngster.

However, when speaking at the World Cup following Netherlands' final Group B match - in which he scored - the eight-cap international insisted he is not thinking about the possibility of a move in the transfer window. Instead, he’s looking to help his country go as far as possible in Brazil.

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“I’m now in the World Cup and after that we will see,” he said when asked about speculation linking him to clubs like Manchester United, according to Goal.com.

“I have a contact with PSV until 2017, so we will have to see what happens in the future.”

Improvement

Depay has enjoyed a steady rise to prominence in the Eredivisie, featuring on occasion in 2011/12 before playing a bigger part the following year. His importance increased further still last term, and he enjoyed a breakout season at the Philips Stadium.

He started 32 league games and featured 10 times in Europe, scoring 14 goals in the process. He now has two international goals to his name as well, notching both over the past week against Australia and Chile on the big stage.

His performance and style have led to the comparisons with Ronaldo, who won the most-recent FIFA Ballon d’Or as the best player in world football. Speed, an eye for goal and a powerful right foot are just some of the attributes both players share, although there is undoubtedly some way to go before Depay hits the heights of the Portuguese superstar.

Ferguson gamble

That said, former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson took a gamble on the man himself in 2003, and it paid huge dividends when the club sold him onto pastures new for a huge profit in 2009.

To label any player as ‘the new Ronaldo’ is a major risk, and puts huge pressure on a youngster to deliver almost instantly. That is something Louis van Gaal will have to consider when he decides whether or not to try and bring the player to Old Trafford.

Van Gaal has taken over the Red Devils after a disastrous season domestically, with the club failing to qualify for Europe. David Moyes paid the price for poor performances during his reign, whilst Ryan Giggs tried to steady the ship on an interim basis.

Herrera signing

Now the current Netherlands head coach gets his chance to make a mark on the Manchester United side, and the probable signing of Ander Herrera suggests that he isn’t wasting any time in the transfer window, despite being out in Brazil for the World Cup.

The Dutch connection is an obvious benefit for the Red Devils, with Van Gaal giving the winger his chance on the international stage. There is little doubt that the pair have a good relationship, and the manager trusts the young talent on the biggest stage.

That just leaves a question mark over whether Manchester United will offer the required amount to make PSV contemplate selling. Whilst Depay’s comments weren’t a clear indication that he wants a move, he certainly didn’t rule it out.

Spurs interest

There is also Tottenham Hotspur to consider, with club scouts in attendance at the World Cup and reportedly impressed with what they’ve seen of the player.

Depay has indeed caught the eye of those watching, and with Mauricio Pochettino looking to make his mark at White Hart Lane after replacing Tim Sherwood, a move from Spurs would make sense. The price-tag is well within their budget.

Whether the Tottenham Hotspur boss would be able to persuade Depay to join them over United is another matter entirely, but it could make for an interesting battle over the coming months. And, if he continues to play well in South America, other clubs will no doubt join the queue for his services.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Manchester United
Eredivisie
Football

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