Liverpool were close to landing Memphis Depay before Manchester United swooped to secure his signature according to Dutch journalist Marcel van der Kraan.
The Red Devils announced earlier today that they'd sealed a £22 million transfer for Depay, who has enjoyed a superb season for PSV Eindhoven. The 21-year-old has managed 21 goals in the Eredivisie and also starred for his country at the World Cup last year.
According to reports Manchester United have handed Depay a four-year deal with the option of a further 12 months worth around £130,000-per-week.
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However it seems as though the deal wasn't on the cards until very recently, with Manchester United swooping to steal the talented youngster from rivals Liverpool as well as Paris Saint-Germain. According to Van der Kraan, who was talking to TalkSPORT, Manchester United were forced into action just as it looked as though Depay was being swayed towards Anfield.
He said: "Up until about 48 hours ago he wasn’t going to go to Manchester United. There was a bigger chance he would go to PSG or Liverpool.
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“We understand Liverpool were real serious contenders, because United weren’t involved. He had a strong favour for the Premier League and he was flattered by the interest from Liverpool. Bolo Zenden and Dirk Kuyt told him he would get playing time there and it would be a great set-up for him to develop.
“But what happened in the last 48 hours was Man United became aware of the fact PSG were prepared to go a long, long way financially to sign him. The money PSG are offering to players is, I understand, flabbergasting. But Man United attracts players much more than PSG, even though they’ve had a difficult one and a half years. PSG can lure them only with money."
Depay is likely to be the first of many signings for Manchester United this summer, with some reports suggesting that they will replicate their efforts from last summer and splash £150 million once more. Mats Hummels, Edinson Cavani, and Nathaniel have all been suggested as potential targets.
Liverpool fans will be banging their heads against the wall after another player slipped through their fingers and fell into the laps of Manchester United.
Sadly for the Reds they can't compete with the bigger clubs both in terms of the European football they can offer and the wages. If they can snatch Champions League from the Red Devils then they could start to eat away at the gap but this season has shown that isn't enough; they need to buy well and start to build rather than treading water.