Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has confirmed he tried to bring Manchester United-bound Memphis Depay to the Premier League last summer, immediately after being appointed as head coach at St Mary's.
The Dutchman revealed that his brother - and Saints assistant - Erwin is represented by the same agency as the 21-year-old talent, but said a deal was difficult because of the player's desire to stay at PSV Eindhoven for another season.
The Red Devils recently announced they'd reached agreement with the Eredivisie outfit over a £25m transfer that will see Depay move to Old Trafford, and the fleet-footed forward passed a medical earlier this week ahead of his summer arrival.
Koeman added that once he knew that Manchester United were interested in acquiring the player's signature then he had "no chance" of bringing him to Southampton, but backed Depay to be a huge success in England under Louis van Gaal.
"I wanted to get him last year already. With Erwin [Koeman] we tried that, he's with the same management as Memphis, but the boy wanted to stay another year at PSV," he explained in an interview with Voetbal International.
"Now we knew that we did not have to call. When Manchester United come, we have no chance."
Depay will arrive in England with a burgeoning reputation as one of the brightest young talents in all of Europe following a standout campaign in his native Holland, finishing the 2014/15 campaign as top scorer with 28 goals in 40 appearances.
He's been instrumental in helping PSV win the domestic title, and is now ready to embark on a new adventure with Manchester United next term.
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Red Devils goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek has advised the veteran Dutchman to pursue the 26-year-old, who could be on his way to Old Trafford as a replacement for the Bernabeu-bound stopper.
Giggs to entice Bale
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Louis van Gaal's number two is an idol of the Wales international - who grew up watching him win a plethora of trophies for the Red Devils - and he hopes that will prove decisive in convincing the 25-year-old to return to the Premier League.