Revealed: Cody Gakpo Manchester United move fell apart over FFP

Cody Gakpo was on the verge of a move to Manchester United before the club’s financial fair play problems scuppered a deal with PSV, according to a new article in ESPN NL

That move was lined up at the end of the 2021/22 Eredivisie season, when the forward scored 12 goals and added 13 assists in 27 league games. 

The PSV captain appeared to have outgrown the Dutch top flight with Premier League interest materialising from Southampton, Nottingham Forest, Leeds United and Man Utd. 

Events had progressed so far that Gakpo even had conversations with the new United boss, Erik ten Hag, and the deal appeared to be a formality. All that was missing was the official confirmation according to ESPN. 

But, despite PSV fans bidding farewell to their skipper, still no word came from Old Trafford that a deal had been struck. 

And during the last week of the transfer window came the news that United wouldn’t be able to make an offer for Gakpo after all. 

Financial fair play rules had dictated that the Red Devils wouldn’t have the head room to sign the Dutch international. 

Gakpo leaves decision in God's hands

Gakpo was left with three options on the table, a move to Southampton, Leeds or else remain with PSV. 

The player now claims he left the decision in God’s hands, stating that his fate would be decided by his goalscoring performance in his next game. 

“I presented the three options I had to God,” he said according to ESPN. “If I scored once, I would go to Southampton. If I scored twice I would go to Leeds and if I scored three I would stay at PSV.” 

On August 31, 2022, PSV faced Volendam in a league fixture, a far cry from Old Trafford. He scored one goal, meaning a move to Southampton was on the cards.

Meanwhile, Leeds United staff arrived in Eindhoven by private jet, determined to leave with Gakpo on board. 

When the forward scored again, that appeared a distinct possibility. 

17th February 2024 Gtech Community Stadium, Brentford, London, England Premier League Football, Brentford versus Liverpool Cody Gakpo of Liverpool shoots and scores for 1-4 in the 85th minute PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK ActionPlus12609449 SalvioxCalabrese

However, Gakpo was then left unsure whether he had added controversial third, a shot which was turned into the net via a Volendam defender Damon Mirani. 

It was later confirmed by VAR that Gakpo would be credited with the goal, as well as the match ball, and would be staying with PSV. 

That gave Gakpo the opportunity to go again with the Eindhoven side and during the winter transfer window of the 2022/23 season he secured his move to Liverpool

The rest as they say is history.

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