Manchester United are in danger of losing out in the race to sign Memphis Depay this summer, according to PSV Eindhoven technical director Marcel Brands.
Depay has 21 goals in 28 Eredivisie games and is attracting the interest of a host of top clubs, the Red Devils included.
Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is said to share a close relationship with Depay, who he selected for his World Cup squad for Brazil last summer, as well as Brands - both of which were said to be helping to lure the 21-year-old to Old Trafford.
However reports have surfaced this week that Manchester United are holding back on signing Depay while there's still a chance that they could lure Gareth Bale from Real Madrid - and that has given both Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain an advantage.
"PSG and Liverpool are indeed a step ahead of Manchester United in the race to sign Memphis. United have only informed us about their interest,” Brands reportedly told Fox Sports.
The PSV chief also confirmed that Bayern are not one of the clubs in the running for Depay's signature. He said: “The list of interested clubs has grown in recent weeks. But Bayern Munich are not among the teams that want to sign him.”
Depay is all but guaranteed to be on the move this summer, and is likely to command a fee well in excess of £20 million. With the summer transfer window on the horizon Brands says it's a testament to the winger's quality that the biggest clubs in Europe are all chasing his signature.
"It’s only logical that there is a lot of movement around Memphis," he continued. "He is still a young player, but is already hugely efficient. He should be proud of that. There isn’t usually a lot of movement in the transfer market at this stage of the season. It’s an exception that so many clubs have already shown an interest in Memphis.
“That only illustrates that he’s on the right track.”
Manchester United are expected to be busy in the summer window having splashed £150 million last time round, and reports this morning claimed that with the Red Devils' return to the Champions League next season close to being sealed they are ready to spend big once more on the likes of Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Mats Hummels.
Manchester United are playing a dangerous game; the odds are against them in terms of landing Gareth Bale and if they do hang around for him then they are in danger of missing out on Depay.
That will certainly play into the hands of Liverpool who could do with his attacking nous having lost the goals of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, whose season has been ruined by injury.
Paris Saint-Germain remain a wild card choice for Depay but may be able to tempt him with a bumper contract. It's anyone's race to win at this stage.