Memphis Depay has admitted that he was close to joining Paris Saint-Germain before Manchester United swooped for his signature.
The Dutch winger has agreed a four year contract worth a reported £130,000-per-week with the option of a further 12 months with the Red Devils, and will link up with his new team-mates at the end of the season.
However it could have been very different if Manchester United had decided not to act when they did with Paris Saint-Germain lurking. Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal has already admitted he was forced to make a move for the 21-year-old for fear of losing him, and now Depay has admitted he could have been a PSG player.
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"The transfer to PSG was really close," he said. "I always knew United were interested but it was nothing concrete. Then at the last moment they called and I spoke with their coach. It was a difficult situation but, after I spoke to Louis van Gaal, I said, 'I am going to go to Manchester'.
"I'm really proud and I believe I can be a big player at Old Trafford. I will give everything I have. I said to myself when I was 12, 'I want to play there'. It's a dream come true."
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Depay has managed 22 goals in the Eredivisie this season to help PSV Eindhoven claim the league title. The Dutch international was on the scoresheet yesterday in his side's 2-0 win over Hercales, slamming home a 35-yard free-kick to seal all three points.
That puts him well on course to claim the Dutch league golden boot but Depay has loftier ambitions than that - emulating the achievements of Cristiano Ronaldo.
"I hope I can one day be like the big guys in the world," he admitted. "I believe in myself and, if I have the chance to take the free-kick, then I will put it in the net."
"Ronaldo is someone I watch, I watch all the big players. I look up to them and I can learn from them. I am down to earth and I hope I can reach that level. I’ll fight for it and I will do my best in every training session to get better.”
It was a little surprising to see Louis van Gaal seem a little flustered at the speed of the Depay deal after its announcement - he seemed agitated and admitted he'd been 'forced' to sign him earlier than he wanted to.
Could he be a little upset because he was holding out on signing Depay until he knew for certain that he could sign Gareth Bale? It was always unlikely he'd sign both and may have found himself caught between a rock and a hard place - let Depay go and there was a chance Bale would stay in Spain and he'd end up with nothing so he played it safe. If Bale goes elsewhere in the summer, there's bound to be one unhappy Dutchman in Manchester.
Do you think Depay could be a better signing than Gareth Bale?
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